# 15.12: The Path of a Reaction and the Effect of a Catalyst

The addition of a catalyst to an equilibrium system is our final stress factor. How will adding a catalyst affect the following:

$\ce{N_2(g) + O_2(g) \leftrightharpoons 2NO(g)}$

Adding a catalyst to this, or any other equilibrium system, will not affect the position of an equilibrium. A catalyst speeds up both the forward and the reverse reactions, so there is no uneven change in reaction rates. Generally, a catalyst will help a reaction to reach the point of equilibrium sooner, but it will not affect the equilibrium otherwise.