Catalyst in a Reaction Mechanism

Arrhenius Equation:

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704578485
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Catalyst in a Reaction Mechanism

Postby 704578485 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:51 pm

If your are given the full reaction mechanism of a given chemical process how do you identify if a certain molecule or substance acts as a catalyst in the process?

Divya Prajapati 1E
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Catalyst in a Reaction Mechanism

Postby Divya Prajapati 1E » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:57 pm

A catalyst can be identified as something that is put into the reaction and then regenerated by the end of the reaction. You can think of it as the opposite of an intermediate - which is generated in one step and then used up in the next step.

For example in the reaction below, Cl is the catalyst and ClO is the intermediate. Both "cancel out," but chlorine was initially added and then regenerated (while ClO was created and then used up).
Step 1: O3 + Cl --> O2 + ClO
Step 2: ClO +O --> Cl + O2


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