Catalyst and Activation Energy

Arrhenius Equation:

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deepto_mizan1H
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

Catalyst and Activation Energy

Postby deepto_mizan1H » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:05 pm

We learned in class that a catalyst serves to provide a new pathway for the reaction mechanism to go through to produce the products faster. However some sources say that a catalyst can't be described as lowering the activation energy, instead providing a different pathway with a lower activation energy in order to produce the products.

Is it more accurate to say it provides a pathway with a lower activation energy?

mahika_nayak_3L
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

Re: Catalyst and Activation Energy

Postby mahika_nayak_3L » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:10 pm

The catalyst provides a new pathway altogether for the reaction, which has a different reaction mechanism as well. The new pathway has a lower activation energy than the previous pathway, which is how the reaction is sped up.

Catly Do 2E
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Catalyst and Activation Energy

Postby Catly Do 2E » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:17 pm

The catalyst provides a completely different pathway, which speeds up the reaction; it does not speed up the original pathway. You usually base the rate law on the slowest, rate determining step. But when a catalyst is introduced, you can base it upon the new, different pathway the catalyst provides (even if it will be faster than the original rate determining step).


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