Let's say that a reaction releases -50kJ/mol of Gibbs free energy (delta G), and -75kJ/mol of enthalpy (we know that -25kJ/mol went to make sure that the total entropy of universe increased).
Now let's say we reversed the reaction.
Book says that the minimum energy required to make the reaction occur spontaneously in the reverse direction is the negative of the original change in Gibbs free energy (50kJ/mol).
What bothers me here is that I would think that you would need 75kJ/mol to reverse the reaction - the total energy the original reaction emitted needs to be put back in order to bring the system back to it's original potential energy level. It seems as though enthalpy shows that one amount of energy is needed to reverse the reaction, while Gibbs potential energy indicates a different amount of required energy.
I have no problem solving any of the computational problems relating to these concepts, but I'm curious about how to more fully understand them conceptually. I've noticed that a lot of people are great at solving technical problems related to these concepts, but are not too worried about how to interpret them conceptually. I guess for me, on the other hand, it's more important to understand than to compute...
Thank you for your help!