Activation Energy and Catalysts

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IsabelMurillo3K
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:51 pm

Activation Energy and Catalysts

Postby IsabelMurillo3K » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:36 pm

Hey guys! I was wondering if someone could explain the relationship between the addition of a catalyst and the activation energy of a reverse reaction? Thank you!

John Antowan 1K
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:19 am

Re: Activation Energy and Catalysts

Postby John Antowan 1K » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:41 pm

I know that the activation energy of the forward reaction will decrease, but as for the reverse reaction I believe it is the same. I am not 100% sure about this, but I believe that the catalyst will not effect the reverse reaction activation energy unless it is built to do so (as most catalysts work to take specimens of higher Gibbs Free Energy to lower states, but there are some instances of the reverse.

Madilyn Schindler 3E
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Re: Activation Energy and Catalysts

Postby Madilyn Schindler 3E » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:45 pm

Adding a catalyst will cause the activation energies of both the forward and reverse reactions to decrease, and it will cause the reaction rates of both the forward and reverse reactions to increase. There's a sapling problem that tests this exact question too! Hope that helps!

LeanneBagood_2F
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:32 pm

Re: Activation Energy and Catalysts

Postby LeanneBagood_2F » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:53 pm

i understand why adding a catalyst will decrease the activation energy for the forward reaction, but im a bit confused as to why it's the same for the reverse. can someone explain this please?

Joshua Eidam 2A
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:58 pm

Re: Activation Energy and Catalysts

Postby Joshua Eidam 2A » Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:39 pm

LeanneBagood_2F wrote:i understand why adding a catalyst will decrease the activation energy for the forward reaction, but im a bit confused as to why it's the same for the reverse. can someone explain this please?

A catalyst will reduce the activation energy for the entire reaction in general, both forward and reverse. If you look at a reaction profile for example, the catalyst will lower that hump representing the overall activation energy. If you were to imagine the reaction going in reverse, that activation energy will still be lower than the original activation energy. Hope that helps!
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Fiona Huang 3C
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:19 am

Re: Activation Energy and Catalysts

Postby Fiona Huang 3C » Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:49 pm

Catalysts lower the activation energy of a reverse reaction, as well as the forward reaction, because it orients the reactant molecules in a way where it can collide with enough energy to overcome the energy barrier.


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