Chemical Reactions

Catalysis and Industrial Chemistry

How can we make chemical reactions go faster?

Two of the most common ways to make a reaction proceed faster are to increase the temperature at which the reaction is carried out or to use a catalyst to lower the energetic barrier to the reaction. With increased temperature, the amount of thermal energy available to overcome the energetic barrier to the reaction is increased. Of course, you’ll also get more products faster if you just increase the concentration(s) of the reactant(s). Light can also serve as the catalyst, breaking a chemical bond to produce a species that is more reactive that the original reactant species.


Plants like this one combine nitrogen and hydrogen using the Haber-Bosch process to manufacture ammonia.


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