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Definition - What does catalysis mean?

Catalysis is a chemical term for the process whereby a catalyst material, introduced into a chemical reaction, changes the rate of a chemical reaction, but remains unchanged itself after the chemical reaction has finished. This catalysis usually changes the rate of a reaction by speeding it up or lowering it's temperature in a way that would not be possible without a catalyst. The term catalyst is also used outside of chemistry for anything that causes a change or reaction to happen.

Safeopedia explains catalysis

A good example of chemical catalysis is when the catalyst platinum is used to change carbon monoxide, which is toxic, into carbon dioxide. This happens in the catalytic converter of a car to help avoid toxic fumes exiting into the atmosphere and harming the environment, humans or animals. Catalysis can involve many different kinds of catalyst such as heat, light or a particular element from the periodic table that can be introduced to a chemical reaction. This process has implications for health and safety, especially when considering pharmaceutical products, the food industry or technological advances. Catalysis can be used in the production of products like these to make them safer for humans and the environment.

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