Catalysts, promoters, and accelerators are all important tools in the chemical industry, as they allow reactions to take place more efficiently and with less energy input. They are used in a wide range of applications, including the production of pharmaceuticals, plastics, and fuels.
What is a catalyst in chemistry?
A catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed or permanently altered by the reaction. Catalysts work by providing an alternative pathway for the reaction to take place that has a lower activation energy, which is the energy required for the reaction to occur. This allows the reaction to occur more readily, resulting in a faster rate of reaction.
- Platinum is a common catalyst used in the production of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid.
- Enzymes are proteins that serve as biological catalysts. Examples include lactase, which breaks down lactose in milk, and amylase, which breaks down starch in carbohydrates.
What is a promoter in chemistry?
Promoters are substances that enhance the activity of a catalyst. They work by increasing the number of active sites on the catalyst, which allows more reactant molecules to interact with the catalyst and participate in the reaction.
- Alumina is a common promoter used to enhance the activity of catalysts in the production of chemicals such as gasoline and plastics.
- Molybdenum is a promoter used to enhance the activity of catalysts in the production of chemicals such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid.
What is an accelerator in chemistry?
Accelerators are substances that increase the rate of a chemical reaction by providing an alternative pathway for the reaction to take place that has a lower activation energy. They work in a similar way to catalysts, but they are not consumed or permanently altered by the reaction.
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is an accelerator used in the production of concrete to speed up the setting process.
- Potassium chloride is an accelerator used in the production of fertilizers to enhance the growth of plants.