Catalysts and Enthalpies

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Mike Vinci 2B
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:03 am
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Catalysts and Enthalpies

Postby Mike Vinci 2B » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:56 am

Hey Chemistry Community,
I was just thinking about the nature of chemical reactions, and found myself considering the effect of catalysts on enthalpy change in a reaction. As we know, catalysts help speed up the reaction, thus in our discussion of enthalpy change this would make the reactants undergo phase changes quicker. I feel that since we discussed that delta H is simply the final enthalpy- the initial enthalpy, then regardless of how long it takes it will still leave the same values for those due to scientific principles. If anyone wants to add to this, I'd be interested to hear their thoughts.

Haocheng Zhang 2A
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Re: Catalysts and Enthalpies

Postby Haocheng Zhang 2A » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:21 pm

I think you are right. When we consider state property like enthalpy, the speed doesn't matter. The distance between Royce hall and Young hall is always the same regardless whether we choose to walk or ride a bicycle.

Aditya Pimplaskar 1J
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Catalysts and Enthalpies

Postby Aditya Pimplaskar 1J » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:19 pm

I agree! Catalysts would decrease the activation energy of a particular reaction, which could represent a different pathway in getting from your initial point to your final point. However, given enthalpy is a state function, altering the path does not alter the value of enthalpy, so enthalpy remains unchanged, even with the use of a catalyst.

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