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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Catalysts are useful for speeding up processes in many chemical industries. This enables the industries to manufacture their products faster and thus reduce manufacturing costs. Catalysts like enzymes help in chemical processes in animals and plants. Examples Catalysts in Action. Catalysts in Action. 3rd March 2015 Natalya McPartland Examples & Equations Advantages and Disadvantages Manganese Dioxide is used as a catalyst to decompose Hydrogen Peroxide What are Catalysts?Catalysts are substances used to speed up the rate of a reaction whilst being unchanged at the end of the reaction.Different catalysts catalyse different reactions. Platinum and palladium are used as catalystsin the catalytic converters of cars, which convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide 2CO(g) + O2(g) => 2CO2(g) Catalysts are easily contaminated. In some cases, reactions happen so quickly that errors are made. They're expensive to obtain. 2H2O2(aq) O2(g) + 2H2O(l) New catalysts are in constant development (mainly for industry, but for other purposes also). One of the ways in which scientists manage this is to observe reactions. Knowing reaction times is key to finding out which catalysts are effective and attempting to develop and create new ones to put on the scene. Nanoparticles are also very popular with the newest techniques in catalyst development as they can be arranged into best shapes for catalysing a particular reaction. These catalysts can simultaneously have a small mass and huge surface area and this has raised hopes and anticipation for a fuel that can one day take the place of petrol and diesel in the car industry. How are Catalysts Developed? How are Catalysts Used? Catalysts are used across industry to solve multiple problems and speed countless reactions up. Although they are expensive, gold, platinum and palladium are the most effective catalysts for particular reactions. To get the same rate of reaction with other catalysts requires more energy so higher temperatures or pressures. Catalysts save money and help the environment (in most cases). This is because using higher temperatures and pressures often requires the combustion of fossil fuels. This means that any method using lower temperatures and pressures is preferable as it conserves the non-renewable fossil fuels. It also stops carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere as a waste product of combustion. The catalysts used in industry are often transition metals or their compounds, which can be toxic. This calls for precautions to be made and new catalysts to be put into development to prevent the less sustainable versions from doing damage to the environment.
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