Catalysts

A catalyst provides the activation energy required to speed up the rate of a chemical reaction, resulting in a higher reaction at the same temperature and the same reactant concentrations. Often only small quantities of a catalyst are needed for this process to occur. Two types of catalysts are commonly used in industry, Heterogeneous Catalysts are used in a different phase to the reactants and products and are favoured by industry, Homogeneous catalysts, on the other hand, is used in the same phase as the reactants. Some of the most common Heterogeneous catalysts seen in industry include Nickel which makes synthesis gases including Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen, Iron used in the making of Ammonia and Zeolite, used in the catalytic cracking of gas oil. Catalysts are important to the chemical industry because if reactions can be speeded up and catalytic activity improved it follows that reactions can occur at lower temperatures and pressures thus improving efficiency and saving on fuel costs.

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