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H.7 Catalysts

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:42 pm
by Melvin Reputana 1L
Hello can someone please help me understand what catalysts are and how they work? I understand that catalysts do not participate in a chemical reaction. However, for example in H.7, how does the copper metal help drive the reaction without interacting with the reactants?

Re: H.7 Catalysts  [ENDORSED]

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:44 pm
by SnehinRajkumar1L
Catalysts typically lower the activation energy of a reaction so that it can happen faster. I assume that the catalyst does the same in that reaction.

Re: H.7 Catalysts

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:11 am
by AnnikaMittelhauser4E
Catalysts can work in a variety of ways. One way is as a reactant in an intermediate reaction. A lot of the chemical equations we see are simplified and don't include middle steps. An example is O3 + O --> 2O2. That reaction is catalyzed by Cl and in full it is actually two steps
1. Cl + O3 --> ClO + O2
2. ClO + O --> Cl + O2. Cl is not used up but it was necessary to get the ball rolling.

Another way I understand less, and what I think is happening in this problem, is that transition metals can act as a place for a reaction to happen. They both can easily exchange e- with other atoms, and apparently can absorb small gaseous molecules in a way. So, I think, that they essentially bring the reactants together and sometimes act as an intermediate.

Re: H.7 Catalysts

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:45 pm
by Sartaj Bal 1J
Also, a catalyst may be identified in a chemical reaction with an element written above the "yield" arrow.

Re: H.7 Catalysts

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:50 pm
by Pipiena Malafu 3J
To add, catalysts typically affect the speed at which reactions occur rather than affecting equilibrium states of reactions.