Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Van’t Hoff Analysis and Hidden Thermodynamic Variables

  • Alan CooperEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_10066-1



Van’t Hoff analysis is a procedure in classical chemical thermodynamics that may be used to estimate the apparent enthalpy (ΔHvH) of a process from the temperature dependence of its equilibrium constant (Keq), usually determined from the slope of a (linear) van’t Hoff plot of ln Keq vs 1/T.


For any thermodynamic equilibrium process that proceeds with non-zero enthalpy (heat of reaction), the equilibrium will be perturbed by change in temperature (Le Chatelier principle). This is the basis for van’t Hoff analysis that has previously been used extensively as a way to characterize the temperature dependence of thermodynamic equilibrium processes and is often applied in biophysical and biochemical investigations as an indirect method for estimating standard enthalpy changes. Although now largely superseded by more direct calorimetric methods, careful application of this kind of analysis can yield useful additional...

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies’ Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ChemistryUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alan Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry, University of GlasgowGlasgowUK