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Catalysts vs Intermediates

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:19 pm
by Lina Petrossian 1D
How can we determine in a multistep reaction, which compounds are the intermediates and which is the catalyst?

Re: Catalysts vs Intermediates

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 pm
by MackenziePerillo-1L
Simply put, catalysts are not consumed in a reaction whereas intermediates are. In other words, intermediates are formed and used up, where as catalysts are not consumed and are there from the beginning.

Re: Catalysts vs Intermediates

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:41 pm
by Joonsoo Kim 4L
I believe that catalysts can be used up in one step of the reaction mechanism, but then produced again in a subsequent step so it cancels out. You can tell if something is an intermediate or catalyst by looking at the order in which it shows up; if it's a reactant first then product later, then it's a catalyst; if it's a product first then a reactant later, then it's an intermediate.

Re: Catalysts vs Intermediates

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:42 pm
by Alyssa Wilson 2A
Adding on to this, if a molecule is cancelled out in step 1 on the reactants side of the equation when you are taking one of the approaches to solve the mechanism it is known as the catalyst, since it has been there from the beginning and is not consumed. You will be able to tell an intermediate, if it is produced in step 1 then it will be used up in step 2 on the reactants side.

Re: Catalysts vs Intermediates

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:06 am
by Shreya_Bharadwaj_1D
Catalysts are there from the beginning and are never used up. Intermediates are formed at some point in the reaction