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Additionally, catalysts speed up the rate of reaction by lowering the activation energy, which changes the reaction mechanism. Although this occurs, adding a catalyst doesn't affect reaction enthalpy or the equilibrium position and neither does it alter reaction yields at equilibrium.
Catalysts are part of the reactants of the initial elementary step and are used up in following elementary steps. Therefore, the catalyst is not part of the overall reaction since it is used up in the elementary steps. The purpose of the catalyst is to lower the activation energy and speed up the overall rate of the reaction. The intermediates in the reaction do not change in the presence or absence of the catalyst since the reaction will still proceed, but at a slower rate, if the catalyst is not present.
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