Reaction Rates: When Surface Area Matters! Lesson Plan Introduction
A team of researchers has discovered a new technology that allows you to bypass catalytic restrictions and speed up chemical reactions by 10 thousand times. This will reduce the cost of thousands of industrial processes..
Some chemical reactions use catalysts (usually metals) to accelerate their course. In the course of catalysis, the rate is limited by the balance between the two stages of the interaction of molecules with the metal surface. The limits of such activity have long been established quantitatively. However, scientists at the University of Minnesota and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have found that this limitation can be overcome by mechanical vibrations..
During tests, exposing the catalyst to waves with a frequency from kilohertz to megahertz resulted in a sharp growth efficiency. The team explains this by the fact that undulating motion allows both parts of the chemical reaction to proceed independently of each other at different speeds. When the wave applied to the catalyst surface matched the natural frequency of the chemical reaction, the speed increased dramatically due to resonance.
The ability to accelerate chemical reactions can have a direct impact on thousands of manufacturing processes used to make fertilizers, fuels, food, plastics, and more. The transition from static to dynamic catalysts will reduce the amount of equipment and production time, reducing the cost of final products.
Previously, chemists also developed new electrocatalyst that outperforms platinum by hydrogen production efficiency.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Unsplash