Related topics: catalyst

Single-atom nanozymes

Nanozymes are catalytic nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics that have attracted enormous recent research interest. The catalytic nanomaterials offer unique advantages of low cost, high stability, tunable catalytic ...

Heterogeneous catalyst goes enzymatic

What if there were no tunnels in the Swiss Alps? Anyone trying to travel through them would have to go up and down hills and zigzag around the ranges. A lot more energy and time is saved by passing through a tunnel than climbing ...

New biologically derived metal-organic framework mimics DNA

The field of materials science has become abuzz with "metal-organic frameworks" (MOFs), versatile compounds made up of metal ions connected to organic ligands, thus forming one-, two-, or three-dimensional structures. There ...

Mirrors control chemical selectivity

A chemical reaction transforms the molecules that make up matter. To influence chemical reactions, chemists typically act on the molecules themselves, rather than the space in which the reaction takes places. However, researchers ...

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Catalysis is the change in rate of a chemical reaction due to the participation of a substance called a catalyst. Unlike other reagents that participate in the chemical reaction, a catalyst is not consumed by the reaction itself. A catalyst may participate in multiple chemical transformations. Catalysts that speed the reaction are called positive catalysts. Substances that slow a catalyst's effect in a chemical reaction are called inhibitors (or negative catalysts). Substances that increase the activity of catalysts are called promoters, and substances that deactivate catalysts are called catalytic poisons.

Catalytic reactions have a lower rate-limiting free energy of activation than the corresponding uncatalyzed reaction, resulting in higher reaction rate at the same temperature. However, the mechanistic explanation of catalysis is complex. Catalysts may affect the reaction environment favorably, or bind to the reagents to polarize bonds, e.g. acid catalysts for reactions of carbonyl compounds, or form specific intermediates that are not produced naturally, such as osmate esters in osmium tetroxide-catalyzed dihydroxylation of alkenes, or cause lysis of reagents to reactive forms, such as atomic hydrogen in catalytic hydrogenation.

Kinetically, catalytic reactions are typical chemical reactions; i.e. the reaction rate depends on the frequency of contact of the reactants in the rate-determining step. Usually, the catalyst participates in this slowest step, and rates are limited by amount of catalyst and its "activity". In heterogeneous catalysis, the diffusion of reagents to the surface and diffusion of products from the surface can be rate determining. Analogous events associated with substrate binding and product dissociation apply to homogeneous catalysts.

Although catalysts are not consumed by the reaction itself, they may be inhibited, deactivated, or destroyed by secondary processes. In heterogeneous catalysis, typical secondary processes include coking where the catalyst becomes covered by polymeric side products. Additionally, heterogeneous catalysts can dissolve into the solution in a solid–liquid system or evaporate in a solid–gas system.

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