Is there a general effect on the rate of reaction of a dynamic equilibrium when an inert gas is introduced at a constant volume? I know that the position of equilibrium won't change, but much like a catalyst which increases the rate of both forward and reverse reactions, I'm wondering if the introduction of an inert gas will have a similar effect.
My preliminary thoughts were that the inert gas would 'block' successful collisions by the reactants and products, thereby decreasing both forward and reverse rates. However, these 'blocked' collisions could simply be the result of more collisions taking place since there are more molecules in the same volume so the rate doesn't actually change.
My other thought was that certain inert gases might increase the rate of reaction by acting as a heterogenous catalyst – a surface for the reaction to take place.
Clearly, my thoughts haven't led to a definite answer so I was wondering if anyone could clear up exactly what happens to the rate of reaction when an inert gas is introduced. Thanks!