Skip to main content
Library homepage
 
Chemistry LibreTexts

10.5.4: The Path of a Reaction and the Effect of a Catalyst

  • Page ID
    236014
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    The addition of a catalyst to an equilibrium system is a final stress factor. We consider how adding a catalyst affects the following:

    \[\ce{N_2(g) + O_2(g) \leftrightharpoons 2NO(g)} \nonumber \]

    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.


    10.5.4: The Path of a Reaction and the Effect of a Catalyst is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?