Types and Uses of Catalyst

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Types and Uses of Catalyst

Post  yufei on Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:30 pm

Whether in chemical productions or experiments, catalyst plays an important role in various activities. For example, in the process of producing sulfuric acid, vanadium pentoxide must be used as catalyst. In oil refineries, catalyst is a necessary raw material. Different catalysts can lead to gasoline and kerosene with different properties. For example, automobile exhaust contains nocuous carbon monoxide and nitric oxide. While, if such metals as platinum are taken as catalysts, these two kinds of nocuous matters can be transformed into harmless carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Enzyme is a kind of protein with catalytic ability produced by plants, animals and microbes. Nearly all the chemical reactions of organism must be catalyzed by enzyme. Even brewing industry and pharmacy also need catalysts.

There are three types of catalyst, namely, homogeneous catalyst, heterogeneous catalyst and biocatalyst.

Homogeneous catalyst is in the same state of matter (solid state, liquid sate and gaseous state) with the reactant the catalyst catalyzes. For instance, if the reactant is in gaseous state, the catalyst must be also in gaseous state. Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is a kind of inert gas and can be used as anesthetic. However, when it reacts with chlorine and sunlight, it will be decomposed into nitrogen and oxygen. At this time, nitrogen is a homogeneous catalyst which decomposes stable laughing gas into matters composed by laughing gas’s components.

Heterogeneous catalyst appears in different phases' reactions. That is to say heterogeneous catalyst is in different state of matter with the reactant. For instance, in the process of producing margarine, nickel in solid state can convert unsaturated vegetable oil and hydrogen into saturated fat. Nickel in solid state is a kind of heterogeneous catalyst and the reactants are matters of liquid state (vegetable oil) and gaseous state (hydrogen).

As a kind of biocatalyst, enzyme is a kind of protein with catalytic ability produced by plants, animals and microbes. Nearly all the chemical reactions of organism must be catalyzed by enzyme. However, the catalytic role of enzyme is also of selections. For example, amylase can catalyze starch to hydrolyze into dextrin and maltose; protease catalyzes protein to hydrolyze into peptide, etc. Live organism makes use of enzyme in themselves to accelerate internal chemical reactions. Without enzyme, these internal chemical reactions must be too slow to maintain organism’s lives. In the temperature of 37 degrees centigrade, enzyme can work best. If the temperature is higher than 50 or 60 degrees centigrade, enzyme will be destroyed to fail in working. Therefore, scouring agent containing enzyme should be used in low temperature to resolve blots on the clothes. It is also significant to make use of enzyme in physiology, medical science, agriculture and other various industries. Nowadays, enzymatic preparations are becoming more and more mature.

Catalyst takes up an important position in modern chemical industry. It must be used in nearly half of chemical products. It is calculated that nearly 80 to 85 percent of chemical processing makes use of catalyst in order to quicken chemical efficiency and raise production efficiency. In other fields like resource utilization, energy development and environmental protection, catalyst also plays an irreplaceable role.


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Re: Types and Uses of Catalyst

Post  shagydeep on Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:30 pm

I have a question is enzyme also useful for increasing power and strength of human body...?


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