Pairs of enantiomers have the same chemical and physical properties (except rotation of plane polarized light) within an achiral environment. However, I am curious about the thermodynamic properties of pairs of enantiomers: say a molecule has a certain $\Delta H_f$, $\Delta S$, and $\Delta G_f$; will its enantiomer have the same exact values?

  • $\begingroup$ When Isolated, yes. If adsorbed or solvated by something optically active not, or perhaps not depending on the interaction. So strictly the enthalpy of formation is the same. Thermochemistry might differ. $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Apr 12, 2021 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


All the normal thermodynamic properties of a pair of enantiomers are the same.

Unless there is some interaction with a chiral environment. The only way any properties will differ is if the environment in which they are measured is chiral.

For example, the heat of combustion of D glucose is the same as for L glucose (as combustion doesn't care about the stereochemistry). But only D glucose is usable by higher organisms in metabolism as all the enzymes involved are chiral (despite the thermodynamics of the overall reaction being exactly the same).


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