Explain Limitation of first Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics tells us that energy can be changed from one form to another but can be neither created nor destroyed in any process.

The mathematical expression which is used to represent the first law of thermodynamics is ΔE = q-w, where ΔE refers to the internal energy change of the system when ‘w’ amount of work is done by the system when it absorbs ‘q’ amount of heat and carries out ‘w’ amount of work. However, this law possesses many limitations such as given below.

  1. The first law of thermodynamics merely indicates that in any process there is a transformation between the various forms of energy involved in the process but provides no information regarding the feasibility of such transformation.
  2. First law does not provide any information regarding the direction a processes will take whether it is a spontaneous or a non spontaneous process.

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