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Hey. How do you distinguish the intermediates and catalysts by looking at the reactions? What should be appeared in the overall reaction?
This video might help you understand how to distinguish between intermediates and catalysts:
Intermediates are first seen as products and then are used as a reactant for another step. Catalysts are used first as reactants to speed up a mechanism and then reappear as products as they are never consumed in a reaction (used up and then reform). The overall reaction equation should only include those that aren't intermediates nor catalysts as the appearance of intermediates and catalysts as both reactants and products will cancel them out.
Intermediates are produced and then consumed, and catalysts are consumed and then (re)produced
You'll find that intermediates are the product of the first reaction step and then the reactant of the second reaction step - that is why it's called an intermediate because it ties the two steps together for the overall reaction. For a catalyst, it appears as a reactant and is not consumed in the reaction so it will appear as a product of the same reaction.
An intermediate will first appear as a product and then appear again as a reactant. Catalysts are the opposite. They will first appear as a reactant and then appear again as a product. Note than neither intermediates nor reactants will show up in the overall balanced equation.
A catalyst is always regenerated!
While an intermediate is produced then consumed, a catalyst is consumed then regenerated.
A catalyst in consumed first, whereas an intermediate is produced fist.
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