Science Help

Examples of Catalysts

Discovery of catalysts introduced the concept how a substance effects the reaction. Catalysts are observed since later ages when natural occurring chemical reactions show the presence of a compound, which is affecting them. 

 Some information about CatalystsA catalyst is a chemical substance usually used in small amounts relative to the reactants and this compound alters the rate of reaction, thereby increasing it without being consumed in the entire process. A catalyst dose not undergoes any permanent change during the reaction. In simple words, a catalyst is a chemical substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.

 In addition, a catalyst increase the rate of reaction by reducing the activation energy (energy requires to activate molecules so that they can undergo chemical changes). Catalysts are also known as reaction Initiators and reaction Activators. Catalysts are also divided into two groups:Homogenous catalysts (like enzymes and aqueous ions that uniformally mixed with the reactants)Heterogeneous catalysts (provide surface for the reaction to occur)A few examples of CatalystsSome important examples of catalysts are as follows:A piece of platinum foil is a catalyst used in the combustion of methane in air.Epoxy ethane is manufactured by reacting ethene in the presence of a Silver catalyst.Benzene reacts with Chlorine or Bromine in the presence of catalyst named Aluminum Chloride (AlCl3) and Aluminum Bromide (AlBr3). 

The important Friedel-Crafts alkylation of Benzene used Aluminum Chloride (AlCl3) as a catalyst.Enzymes are the examples of metabolic catalyst that speed up the biological process inside the human body like nutrition, respiration.etc.Temperature and Time are also important examples of catalysts.Use of Platinum as catalysts in the hydrogenation of Alkenes is an example of heterogeneous catalyst.Mostly transition metals are also used as a catalysts like :In Habers process, iron is used as a catalystIn Contact process, V2O5 is used to catalyzed SO2 to SO3In Hydrogenation, Raney Nickel (finely divided powder) is used as a catalyst.In Decomposition MnO2 is used as a catalyst.Conclusion to examples of catalystsCatalysts plays very important role in a chemical reaction. Due to the presence of these catalysts, we are able to get the desired product as soon as possible. Catalysts do not alter the position of equilibrium; they only change the rate of the reaction.