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Catalysis and Catalysts

Name: Josue Sanchez Villarroel

What is Catalysis?
 Catalysis is the process by which the speed of a chemical
reaction is increased, due to the participation of a substance
called catalyst and those that deactivate the catalysis are called
Why is Catalysis Important?

 Reactions can in general be controlled on the basis of

temperature, concentration, pressure and contact time.
Raising the temperature and pressure will enable
stoichiometric reactions to proceed at a reasonable rate of
production, but the reactors in which such conditions can be
safely maintained become progressively more expensive and
difficult to make
A catalyst is a substance that accelerates the reaction but does
not experience a net chemical change
A catalyst acts on the intermediate states of the reaction
mechanism by decreasing the activation energy, both direct and
 It must not be reactive or product
 They are effective even if they exist in very small amounts in
the chemical system.
 It is recovered at the end of the process in the same state in
which it was introduced
 Does not alter the thermodynamic variables of the process
 A process that is not spontaneous will not be favored by the
presence of a catalyst.
 Accelerates the direct and inverse reaction equally
Types of catalysis

 Homogeneous catalysis:
The catalyst is in the same phase as the reactants. It can be
in the gas phase or in the liquid phase, but in any case it is
little used at the industrial level, however they acquire
great importance in the studies of the environmental
problems of the atmosphere
The simplest examples is found in atmospheric chemistry.
Ozone in the atmosphere decomposes, among other routes, via
a reaction with chlorine atoms:

As it leaves the reaction cycle unaltered, the Cl atom is a

catalyst. Because both reactant and catalyst are both in the same
phase, namely the gas phase, the reaction cycle is an example of
homogeneous catalysis
Types of catalysis

 Heterogeneous catalysis:
the catalyst is in a different phase than the reactants are.
It is widely used in industrial processes and its most
common mechanism is based on the adsorption of
reactant molecules
 Oxidation of sulfur dioxide (SO2): this process, very
important as an intermediate step in the manufacture of
sulfuric acid, is catalyzed by Platinum (or vanadium oxide
V2O5, which is cheaper but less effective) according to the
following process:
Types of catalysis
 Enzymatic catalysis
The substances that catalyze biochemical reactions are called
enzymes and are proteins of high molecular mass. The
enzymatic catalysis has two differentiating characteristics:

1.- Its effectiveness is much higher than artificial catalysts

2. They are very specific

Catalytic properties
 Activity: The activity is the direct consequence of the
accelerating effect, and it is defined as a reaction speed in
moles transformed per second and per gram of catalyst
 Selectivity: the most important single attribute of the
catalyst is its selectivity, which reflects the ability to direct
the conversion of a reagent through a specific path
 Stability: The operating life of a catalyst must be evaluated
according to the amount of products formed, so that in the
minimum of time it must be possible to amortize the cost of
the catalyst and the operation of the process. The life of a
catalyst could be affected for 3 causes of deactivation
 Catalyst poisoning
 Catalyst Soiling
 Catalyst aging
Characterization techniques
 The characterization of the catalysts is an important
requirement in the industry since in this way we can know
and understand how each catalyst works, the applications that
we can give it and thus be able to have control of all the
phenomena that are behind each reaction
Characterization techniques
 Physic structure
 Determination of the specific surface, monolayer adsorption
of N2 (B.E.T.)
 Determination of pore volume, N2 multilayer adsorption
 Structure of crystalline solids: X-ray diffraction (XRD).
 Morphology: microscopic techniques: (optical, SEM, TEM,)
 Thermal stability and physic structure: thermal methods
(DSC, -TG-).
Characterization techniques
Chemical structure

 Dispersion and nature of the active phase: selective chemical

adsorption (static or dynamic).

 Atomic composition determination: atomic adsorption


 Raman spectroscopy (oxidation states)