What happens when one of the potential driving forces behind a chemical reaction is favorable and the other is not? We can answer this question by defining a new quantity known as the Gibbs free energy (G) of the system, which reflects the balance between these forces.
The Gibbs free energy of a system at any moment in time is defined as the enthalpy of the system minus the product of the temperature times the entropy of the system.
G = H - TS
The Gibbs free energy of the system is a state function because it is defined in terms of thermodynamic properties that are state functions. The change in the Gibbs free energy of the system that occurs during a reaction is therefore equal to the change in the enthalpy of the system minus the change in the product of the temperature times the entropy of the system.
deltaG = deltaH - delta(TS)
If the reaction is run at constant temperature, this equation can be written as follows.
deltaG = deltaH - TdeltaS
The change in the free energy of a system that occurs during a reaction can be measured under any set of conditions. If the data are collected under standard-state conditions, the result is the standard-state free energy of reaction (deltaGo).
deltaGo = deltaHo - TdeltaSo