Does free energy change with a catalyst?

1 Answer
Sep 26, 2015

A catalyst does not change the free energy.


If we look at the energy diagram of chemical reactions, we can identify to domains: thermodynamic and kinetic.

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Image source: Zumdahl textbook .

The thermodynamic domain, indicates whether the reaction can occur or not, however, the kinetic domain, indicates whether the reaction will be fast or slow.

Free energy is a thermodynamic function. Free energy will tell us whether the reaction will happen spontaneously in one direction or another.

Catalysts impact the rate of the reaction which is a kinetic function. It lowers the activation energy of the reaction, and therefore, it shorten the pathway of the reaction without changing the energies of the reactants or products, and therefore, no change on the free energy.

I recommend this video for more details.