Specification Point 3.14C (Paper 2C Only):
Draw and explain reaction profile diagrams showing △ h and activation energy

The Effect of a Catalyst on Activation Energy & Enthalpy Change

Catalyst: A substance that increases the rate of a reaction, but is chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction

  • The catalyst will provide an alternative pathway requiring lower activation energy so more colliding particles will have the necessary activation energy to react
  • This will allow more frequent and successful collisions per second, increasing the rate of reaction

Energy level diagram:

Activation energy and enthalpy change, Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

The effect of a catalyst on the activation energy and enthalpy change

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Author: Jamie

Jamie got a First class degree in Chemistry from Oxford University before going on to teach chemistry full time as a professional tutor. He’s put together these handy revision notes to match the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry specification so you can learn exactly what you need to know for your exams.