Directions and Rates of Biochemical Processes How Does Thermodynamics Predict the Direction of a Reaction? –The First Law of Thermodynamics The total amount of energy in any process stays constant. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. So, energy may switch from potential to kinetic and back again, but it is neither created nor destroyed. »For example, the potential energy stored in the chemical bonds of ATP is converted into kinetic energy when it is split to allow a muscle contraction to occur.
Directions and Rates of Biochemical Processes How Does Thermodynamics Predict the Direction of a Reaction? –The Second Law of Thermodynamics In any process, the energy available to do work decreases. –For example, when ATP is split to allow a muscle contraction, only a fraction of the energy from ATP is converted into useful work.The rest of the energy becomes heat which is largely wasted energy.