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Facts At Your Fingertips: Surface-Mediated Heterogeneous Catalysis

By Scott Jenkins |

Heterogeneous catalysis in industrial processes involves a complicated set of physical and chemical phenomena that help lead to products. This one-page reference provides information about the formation of products in an industrial process using solid catalyst materials.   Catalyst materials Industrially, there are several important classes of heterogeneous catalysts, including metals, aluminosilicates and organometallic materials. Industrial catalysts are typically porous solid materials, or are chemicals containing such materials. Solid catalysts exhibit specificity for particular reactions and selectivity for certain desired products, that in most cases, cannot practically be achieved without catalysts. And because they are present in a different phase than the reactants (solid versus fluid), heterogeneous catalysts are easily separated from the reaction mixture. Ideal catalysts allow reactions to proceed at suitable rates under conditions that are economically profitable, and at as low a temperature and pressure as possible.   Surface-mediated reactions Because of the presence of different phases, heterogeneous-catalyzed reactions involve transport of reactants to the catalyst surface, as well as adsorption onto,…
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