Answer to Question #53305 in Inorganic Chemistry for manisha

Question #53305
What is catalyst ? And how can we identify that particular compound in particular reaction is catalyst or reactant ? Explain with an example.
Expert's answer
Catalyst is a compound which increases the rate of reaction which is associated with a decrease of the energetic barrier of the reaction.
During the catalytic process a catalyst is changed, but is not consumed and its amount remains constant. Contrary the reagent reacts therefore its concentration becomes less than that at the start of reaction.
For example:
O2 + 2SO2 → 2SO3. This reaction doesn’t occur at normal condition (very low rate), however if we add NO2, it is carried out very fast.
Thus, SO2 and O2 are reagents because they are transformed into SO3.
Regarding NO2 we should consider its catalytic cycle:
2NO2 + 2SO2 → 2SO3 + 2NO
2NO + O2 → 2NO2
As shown NO2 participates in the reaction but it is not consumed making reaction faster. It means that this is a catalyst.

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Assignment Expert
13.07.15, 12:41

NO2 takes part in reaction to form products but in general its concentration (or amount) remains the same in the end of the reaction. 

10.07.15, 18:08

I did not understand second reaction that you give. as you said NO2 is using as catalyst in it .if it is catalyst then why it take part in reaction to form products.

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