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Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:35 am
by EthanPham_1G
What is the difference between a catalyst and an intermediate. Can a catalyst also be an intermediate and vice versa?

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:36 am
by Ally Huang- 1F
A catalyst is inputted into the reaction as a reactant and comes out unchanged as a product. An intermediate is formed as a product in one step and then used up as a reactant in a proceeding step. Therefore, I don't think a catalyst can be an intermediate and vice versa.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:49 am
by bellaha4F
an intermediate is seen in the product side first and disappears later, while a catalyst is added first to the reactant side and than reappears later on the product side.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:07 pm
by Sofia Barker 2C
Intermediates are used up in a reaction, while catalysts are not. However, neither show up in the overall reaction for a chemical reaction because they are found on both the product and reactant side of different steps of a reaction and thus cancel out. Catalysts appear as reactants in one step and again as products in the next step because they aren't used up, whereas intermediates appear as products in one step and reactants in the next step because they are formed and used to help form a different product.
Take this multi-step reaction as an example.

step 1: A + B --> C + D
step 2: D + E --> B + F
overall reaction: A + E --> C + F

The intermediate would be D because it is formed in the first step and subsequently used up in the next one.
The catalyst would be B because, while it enters the reaction as a reactant, it is ultimately reformed as a product that can be used to catalyze a different reaction.
As you can see, the overall reaction doesn't include either of the two.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:11 pm
by jisulee1C
A catalyst cannot be an intermediate because intermediates are produced by the reaction and used up in another following step of the reaction mechanism while a catalyst is not used up during the reaction. Because a catalyst is not used up, a small amount can be used to speed up the reaction and continue to be reused, this is helpful for real life applications where chemical reactions are sped up.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:21 pm
by Nathan Nakaguchi 1G
A catalyst is something that lowers the activation energy of a reaction and leaves K(equilibrium) the same, a catalyst should appear on both sides of the total net reaction, while an intermediate is an actual product between steps of the reaction that will not appear in the final net reaction.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:42 pm
by ABombino_2J
A catalyst exits in the beginning of a set of reactions and also comes out at the end of a set of reaction, so it is used up and then produced. An intermediate is formed and then used up.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:55 pm
by Lizette Noriega 1H
An intermediate is produced in the first step then later consumed in the second step while the catalyst is consumed in the first step then produced in the second.

Re: Catalysts vs. Intermediates

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:01 pm
by Tiffany_Chen 2K
Intermediates will not show up in the final product, catalysts will as it is not degraded.