Role Of Catalyists In Industry Essay

996 words - 4 pages

Pleased with this - enjoy! Excellent - worthy of high gradeOXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE SCHOOLS EXAMINATION BOARD.General Certificate Examination - Advanced LevelChemistry (Salters') - Paper 3 mock.ROBERT TAYLOR U6JW.THE ROLE CATALYSTS IN CHEMICAL REACTIONS, THEIR IMPORTANCE IN INDUSTRY,PROBLEMS AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS.A Catalyst is a substance that alters the rate of a reaction.The catalyst remains unchanged at the end of the reaction. The processis called catalysis. In this report I aim going to explain the role ofcatalysts in chemical reactions and their importance in industry.I will also outline the problems associated with the use of somecatalysts and discuss, using appropriate examples, new developments inthis area which will help reduce damage to the environment.The process of catalysis is essential to the modern day manufacturingindustry. Ninety per cent, over a trillion dollars' worth, ofmanufactured items are produced with the help of catalysts every year.It is therefore logical that scientists are constantly searching fornew improved catalysts which will improve efficiency or produce agreater yield.An acidic catalyst works due its acid nature. Catalysts are strongacids and readily give up hydrogen ions, or protons: H+. Protons can bereleased from hydrated ions, for example H3O+, but more commonlythey are released from ionisable hydroxyl groups (R-OH) where the O-Hbond is broken to produce R-O- and H+. When the reactant receivesprotons from an acid it undergoes a conformational change, (change inshape and configuration), and becomes a reactive intermediate. Theintermediate can then either become an isomer by returning a proton tothe catalyst, or it may undergo a further reaction and form acompletely new molecule.Up until the mid - 1960's silica-alumina gels were used to catalyse thecracking of hydrocarbons. This form of cracking is where the largemolecules in oil are converted into small, highly volatile molecules.However because the size of the pores of silica-alumina gels was sovariable, (ranging from 0.1nm to 50nm), and the fact that their shapewas so variable, they were hardly ideal catalysts. Due to the largesize of their cavities, large carbonaceous products were able to formin the cavities thus lowering the reactivity if the catalyst. Catalysiswith alumina silica-gels was also difficult to control preciselybecause of their indefinite structure, and therefore uneven distributionof protons.By the mid-1960's it was obvious that silica-alumina gels were inefficientas catalysts and they were replaced by zeolites. Zeolites are highly porouscrystals with minute channels ranging from 0.3nm to 0.8nm in diameter. Due totheir definite crystalline structure and the fact that their pores are toosmall to contain carbonaceous build-up, zeolites do not share the problems ofsilica-alumina gels.Zeolites are able to exhibit shape-selective crystals i.e.. their active sitesare specific to only a few product molecules (the ones that will fit into thetiny...

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