A catalyst is a unit of change that, when placed in the middle of a process, constitutes a turn on the way towards the direction that it had as its original destination. A catalyst could be defined as the operator of a mathematical function, which when interposed between two functions with specific objectives, their destiny is altered, thus reaching a third function with the change made by the catalyst. Technical word used in branches such as engineering, chemistry, biology and electronics.

What is a catalyst

It consists of applying an element to a certain process in order to produce variations in terms of its acceleration or retardation, it never intervenes or modifies the process as such from the structural or compositional point of view.

From the etymological point of view the word comes from catalysis which in turn comes from the Latin catalysis which refers to the complete or total termination of something. On the other hand a synonymous catalyst could be booster or accelerator.

Catalyst function

The function of these will depend on the context or the field in which the term is used, an example is the case of a chemical catalyst, in general terms they are substances that accelerate the reaction or the chemical process, while biological catalysts such as for example catalytic enzymes or also known as catalytic proteins, are responsible for the acceleration of processes but within specific cells and without altering their function or composition.

On the other hand, in the automotive area, there is the so-called automotive catalyst, these are installed in relation to the exhaust pipe of cars in order to reduce as much as possible the formation of smog and polluting elements for the environment, it also fulfills a function protection in relation to vehicle engines can also be found under the name of universal catalyst.

Types of catalysts

Catalyst - Vehicle Catalyst

There are several types according to their differences in terms of general characteristics, among them you can find:

Positive catalyst

They are those types of catalysts that are responsible for the acceleration process of the evolution of chemical reactions. Catalysis is the process by which the speed of a chemical reaction is increased or decreased; thanks to the substance which is called a catalyst.

On the other hand, a catalyst can be defined as those enzymes that have the ability to modify the speed of a chemical reaction, either increasing or decreasing it; process to which catalysis is assigned, as mentioned above. It should be noted that most of the existing catalysts are known as “positive catalysts”, also called “promoters”; thanks to its action of speeding up, increasing or precipitating chemical reactions.

In each of the industrial processes, the speed of production and the sum of products must be related; At the time, in which the chemical processes are carried out, it must be guaranteed that they are efficient in an energy way, but also that they provide an economical and clean alternative in order to make those industrial processes competitive; and for this purpose is that each of the existing catalysts are used.

After being applied a given chemical method in the industrial process that is carried out, the catalysts can be used, in order to increase the speed of the reactions that are needed and obtain an increase in the speeds in the industrial process.

Negative catalyst

They are those in charge of reducing or reducing the speed or rapidity of chemical reactions; In other words, they are substances that slow down the speed of reactions. Its use is not greater than the use of positive catalysts, which on the other hand, these are responsible for accelerating the process of chemical reactions, they are substances that increase the activity of catalysts.

Negative catalysts, also called “inhibitors”, slow down the evolution of reactions, that is, they are slower. These two types of catalysts, negative and positive, are used in miniscule quantities, since they are reusable. After finishing the reaction, with both types of catalysts, you will have the same mass of catalyst that you had at the beginning.

Homogeneous catalyst

Catalyst - Homogeneous Catalyst

It is the one that is formed by a homogeneous mixture with the reactants, this process is very different from that of the heterogeneous catalyst because it is easier to separate, it is much firmer and its degradation is slower than a heterogeneous catalyst, where the homogeneous catalyst is one of the various phases to the reagents that are those that combine with one of the reagents, creating an intermediate compound that reacts with the other easier.

This catalyst does not influence the equilibrium of the reaction, because the putrefaction of the reaction products is precipitated to a similar degree. For example, the homogeneous catalyst is nitric oxide in the catalysis of sulfur trioxide formation by reacting sulfur dioxide with oxygen, both at the beginning and at the end of the reaction where there is a certain amount of nitric oxygen.

Heterogeneous catalyst

They are those that act in a phase in a different way than reactants or reactants in chemistry, where every substance exerts an interaction with another in a chemical reaction that gives rise to other substances with different properties, characteristics and distribution, called reaction products or absolutely products. The vast majority of practical heterogeneous catalysts are solid but most reactants are gases or liquids.

Catalytic people

It refers to a person who exercises management or leadership through actions that are responsible for stimulating the work, will, strength and dedication of others to accelerate the development of a process.

The characteristic examples of this type of people fall on those managers of large companies, student leaders, political leaders, in short, all those people who lead with this perspective of promoting work and stimulating the actions of others to achieve it.

Catalytic leaders

Examples of catalysts

As mentioned throughout the post, the term is used to refer to a large number of processes according to the context. Some examples can be found:

A chemical catalyst is a substance that is clearly responsible for accelerating or delaying specific chemical reactions, but without modifying any element of its composition, that is, maintaining its purpose and function, an example of these would be UV light, aluminum chloride and fluorine derivatives.

In chemistry, potassium dioxide can be obtained by mixing the salt and the solvent, but if water is added in the process, the solution can be hydrated. It is a term widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, since the composition of drugs usually contains catalysts to present them in different varieties.

On the other hand, biological catalysts could be a hormone that is responsible for stimulating processes at the body level in places other than the place where it was secreted in principle, an example of this would be the case of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. specifically beta cells, it is responsible for accelerating and increasing the process by which glucose is stored in different cells and tissues of the body, with the aim of regulating its levels in the blood and that they remain as a reserve energy source for when they are necessary.

The term is also used in the world of video games, as is the case of fortnite catalyst, which is a complement that gives the characters greater attributes at the time of battles.

A filter can also be called a catalyst, since its primary function is to strain the substance in question to leave most of the large traces of it in the container. In this way, the environment is taken care of or the raw material can be reused and synthesized.

Catalyst FAQ

What are catalysts?

They are elements or substances that are responsible for varying the course or accelerating and delaying certain processes without modifying the conditions of the environment in which they act, these can be used at a biological, chemical, automotive level, among others.

What is it to be a catalyst?

It refers to people who exercise leadership focused on stimulating through strength, will and enthusiasm the performance of activities and thus completing the planned processes. Much is observed at the managerial level of large companies.

What is the catalyst for?

The function depends on the field and the context in which it is used, for example in the case of biology and chemistry its function is to accelerate reactions, while in the automotive area it acts by inhibiting the formation of negative compounds for the environment. .

How do car catalysts work?

In the first place, the gases are trapped by the catalyst cylinders and later they are molecularly modified by it, so that what is expelled does not correspond to waste that is so harmful to the environment.

What happens when a car’s catalytic converter fails?

Certain changes occur that indicate a fault in it, such as loss of power, presence of smoke and a bad smell, strange noises at the rear of the vehicle, among others.