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Thermodynamic Network Calculations Applied to Biochemical Substances and Reactions



Robert N. Goldberg


Both organic and inorganic chemistry have benefited greatly from the availability of tables of standard enthalpies of formation fH, standard Gibbs energies of formation fG, and standard entropies S. These tables of standard thermodynamic properties allow the user to calculate values of enthalpy changes rH, Gibbs energy changes rG, equilibrium constants K, and entropy changes rS for any reaction in which these standard thermodynamic properties are known for all of the reactants and products. Thus, it is not necessary that actual measurements have been performed on the reaction of interest. While several tables of standard thermodynamic properties have been prepared for biochemical substances, they are not as extensive as the corresponding tables for organic and inorganic substances nor as extensive as they might be if all of the available experimental results in the literature had been utilized. Nevertheless, comprehensive tables could be produced by utilizing all of the data {apparent equilibrium constants K and calorimetrically determined enthalpies of reaction rH(cal)} in the Thermodynamics of Enzyme-catalyzed Reactions Database [1] together with related property values such as standard enthalpies of combustion, entropies and heat capacities, solubilities, enthalpies of solution, pKs, and enthalpies of binding for the substances of interest. This large set of property values can be used to establish a thermodynamic network, i.e., a system of linear equations, that can be solved for the desired formation properties. Such an undertaking requires extensive literature work, a substantial amount of analysis and computation on the results of the individual studies, and a careful fitting together of the property values by means of a judicious weighting of the property values. It can be viewed as a very large jig-saw puzzle of information.
Proceedings Title
Conference Dates
September 13-16, 2009
Conference Location
Conference Title
Experimental Standard Conditions of Enzyme Charaterizations


enthalpy, entropy, Gibbs energy, heat capacity, thermodynamic network calculations


Goldberg, R. (2010), Thermodynamic Network Calculations Applied to Biochemical Substances and Reactions, ESCEC2009, Rudesheim/Rhein, (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created September 14, 2010, Updated June 2, 2021