Activity 2 Foundations Essay

Submitted By JakeStephens1
Words: 318
Pages: 2

Heterogeneous Catalyst: The Catalytic Converter Within the field of chemistry, catalysts are used to lower the activation energy (Ea) required in order to kick start a desired reaction. There are multiple ways scientists have been able to utilize this implementation into everyday life. There are three types of catalysts: heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts as well as enzymes. The type of interest here is the heterogeneous catalyst. A heterogeneous catalyst is one that exists in a different phase as the reactants it is being introduced to. For example, a solid being introduced into a reaction that contains two different liquids and speeds up the reaction of those two liquids is considered a heterogeneous catalyst. A perfect example to evaluate in more depth is one that most of us use every single day. A catalytic converter is something that is required on the exhaust system of all present-day vehicles. It can be found attached to an exhaust pipe just as it comes out of the engine. Most common converters do exactly as the name refers, they catalyze chemical reactions that in short convert otherwise harmful chemicals to less harmful molecules to be released into the air. A typical converter consists of multiple sheets of platinum that carry out three important reactions. These platinum sheets act as heterogeneous catalysts in said reactions. Within the two primary reactions the catalyst is used as an oxidizing agent, adding oxygen to incoming molecules and releasing…