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I learnt that Gibbs free energy is the maximum amount of non-expansion work. But the phrase non expansion work confuses me. Work is defined as pressure times change in volume. If there is no expansion, how can work be done?

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Pressure-Volume work is a type of mechanical work .
There are also non-mechanical forms of work where in pressure and volume terms are not involved .
The most famous example is electrical work . The work done to move electrical charges ( like motion of electrons in a conductor) comes under this category .

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  • $\begingroup$ Another example is the stirring of a liquid in a tank $\endgroup$ – Chet Miller Jul 25 '15 at 1:40

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