6 Characteristics Of Catalytic Reactions

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Characteristics Of Catalytic Reactions

From this article, we are going to discuss 6 Characteristics of Catalytic Reactions. First of all, let’s have a look at what is a catalyst. Catalyst is a substance which alters the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing a permanent change in chemical composition or being altered in quantity.

There are 6 general Characteristics that we are going to discuss by taking one by one. Those characteristics are unique to the catalytic reactions. So, let’s have a look.

1. The catalyst does not change in the amount and chemical composition at the end of the reaction. 

The physical form of the catalyst, however, may considerably be altered. Thus manganese dioxide used to catalyse the decomposition of potassium chlorate is found to be broken into fine powder at the end of the reaction. Also, the platinum used to catalyse the oxidation of ammonia to nitric acid becomes slowly pitted and brittle.

Characteristics Of Catalytic Reactions under mechanism of catalytic reation

2. A small quantity of the catalyst has the ability to produce a considerable effect.

Amounts as small as 0.001g of colloidal platinum can catalytically decompose hydrogen peroxide with the liberation of 1 c.c. of oxygen per minute. If the products of the reaction are removed, the catalyst can continue to function practically indefinitely. 

3. Within limits, the rate of the reaction is proportional to the amount of catalyst present.

This appears to be generally, but not invariably correct.

4. It is uncertain whether a catalyst can start a reaction.

Ostwald maintained that it could not. Also, he compared the action of a catalyst to that of oil in lubricating a machine or tho the whip applied to an unwilling horse. Thus he considered that the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen occurs very slowly at ordinary temperatures in the absence of catalyst, so slow. That the rate of reaction cannot measure. But in the presence of a catalyst, the action is extremely rapid and explosive. It is now considered that in some cases, at any rate, a catalyst can start a reaction. 

Baker, for example, showed that dry ammonia could keep in contact with dry hydrogen chloride for years without reaction occurring. Also, that dry Sulphur will not burn in dry oxygen. Also, dry ammonium chloride will not decompose. Reaction immediately occurs in the presence of a trace of water, which appears to be an essential catalyst. 

These observations appear to show that catalysts can initiate a chemical change. 

5. A catalyst does not change the final step of equilibrium, but only the rate of reaction.

Characteristics Of Catalytic Reactions - pathway

This is also another important fact under Characteristics of Catalytic Reaction. Here the direct and opposing reactions are accelerated to the same extent. If this were not so a continuous supply of energy could obtain from nothing by allowing the reaction to take place alternately in the presence and absence of a catalyst. This is contrary to experience. This is an another important factor under general Characteristics of Catalytic Reactions.

6. The action of a catalyst is unique and specific to a large extent.

A substance which catalyses one reaction, may not affect another. Thus the decomposition of potassium chloride catalysed by manganese dioxide, but not platinum. That catalyses the combination of nitrogen and hydrogen to form ammonia.

You can get good knowledge about Characteristics of Catalytic Reactions from the following video as well.

Summary of Characteristics of Catalytic Reactions

So, from this article, we widely described 6 characteristics of catalytic reaction and how they help to increase the rate of the chemical reaction. The 6 characteristics that we described are,

  1. The catalyst does not change in the amount and chemical composition at the end of the reaction. 
  2. A small number of the catalyst is capable of producing a considerable effect.
  3. Within limits, the rate of the reaction is proportional to the amount of catalyst present.
  4. It is uncertain whether a catalyst can start a reaction.
  5. A catalyst does not change the final step of equilibrium, but only the rate of reaction.
  6. The action of a catalyst is unique and specific to a large extent.

I think you have gained a piece of useful knowledge from this article about how catalysts react. Have a look at another interesting article about: The electrovalency

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