What does activation energy do in a reaction?

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Funkfruit
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What does activation energy do in a reaction?

Post by Funkfruit » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:30 am

What role does activation energy play in a chemical reaction?

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whizzbee
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Post by whizzbee » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:33 pm

it's the minimum energy that a system must has in order to undergo a reaction. if this amount of energy hasn't been reached, the reaction will not occur.
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jonmoulton
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Re: What does activation energy do in a reaction?

Post by jonmoulton » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:39 pm

Sometimes molecules need to be forcefully jammed together for a reaction to occur. Increasing the temperature, corresponding to a greater average kinetic energy of molecules, is one way of achieving the forceful jamming together that causes a reaction; the molecules just hit each other harder. So, the activation energy can be supplied by higher temperatures, but that isn't the only solution to make a reaction happen. For some reactions, especially biochemical reactions, higher temperatures are not an option as they would denature enzymes. Fortunately, enzymes can themselves lower the activation energy needed for a reaction by holding reactants in electrospatial environments that promote the reaction, allowing the reaction to proceed at physiological temperatures.

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whizzbee
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Post by whizzbee » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:14 pm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fc ... ection.229

see the "Enzymes Lower the Barriers That Block Chemical Reactions" section, perhaps it can explain to you in a more easily understood way?.
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