Does a catalyst have an effect on the Gibbs free energy of a reaction?

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Seems intuitive that it wouldn’t, but I dunno the qualitative difference between activation energy & Gibbs free energy.

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Best reply by BlueWolf:

A catalyst can change the activation energy not the Gibbs energy. The Gibbs energy is the energy difference between the initial state and final state. A catalyst cannot change that. Imagine you are driving from school to home. How you drive do not change the height difference between the school and your home. However, a catalyst can change your path which can change the routine you drive from school to home. So if there is a hill in between your school and you home, you have the choice to drive through it or drive around.

Here is a picture:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/24/Activation_energy.svg/360px-Activation_energy.svg.png

A catalyst can change the height of the barrier, but cannot alter the initial or final state.

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Does a catalyst have an effect on the Gibbs free energy of a reaction?


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