Catalysts are substances that expedite chemical reactions primarily by lowering the amount of energy required to get such reactions going. These substances don’t get used up in the reactions, thus they can be reused over a long period.
Catalysts are critical in manufacturing industries, pollution-control industries, petrochemical production, and even pharmaceutical industries. In this article, we look at the most important things that you need to know about catalyst manufacturing:
1. There are several types, some bespoke
The most commonly mentioned types of catalysts are homogenous, heterogenous, and enzymatic catalysts, but there are other kinds, such as acid-based catalysts, autocatalysts, and positive & negative catalysts. The type of catalysts that you need for your project will vary based on the particulars of the project and your overall objectives.
There are times when you have to create catalysts that are unique to a specific goal or project, and these are the times when you engage a leading custom catalyst manufacturer like Applied Catalysts.
2. We often don’t know why they work
You may be surprised to learn that scientists often don’t know with precision why catalysts work. That’s why computational catalysis is an important tool in the development of catalysts, as it can simulate how specific materials work thus simplifying the process of choosing a catalyst that can work. For potential configurations, there can be thousands of combination possibilities which is why it’s often a good idea to use supercomputers to deal with such combinations.
3. Catalysts require support materials and substrates
In the case of heterogeneous catalysts, mostly, it’s a requirement to have high-surface-area materials such as metal oxides, zeolites, carbon-based substrates, and others to support the action of catalysts.
The support materials are there to offer a stable platform for catalytic activity and increase the effectiveness of the catalysts.
4. Catalysts have active sites
How a catalyst reacts is mainly determined by its active sites, which are the parts of the catalyst’s surface where reactions happen. During catalyst manufacturing, it’s crucial to identify these sites and understand their nature and behavior so that you can optimize the catalyst’s performance and efficiency.
That’s why working with an experience catalyst manufacturer is a good idea, as they have the technology and know-how to make this possible.
5. Catalysts do experience deactivation
Catalysts often become deactivated during use as a result of issues like poisoning ( active site blockage), sintering (agglomeration of particles), fouling (accumulation of impurities), and others. A leading catalyst manufacturer would have special strategies to lower the occurrences of these deactivation processes thus guaranteeing catalyst longevity.
6. Characterization techniques are crucial
For some catalyst manufacturing processes, it’s crucial to ensure thorough characterization of catalysts to control their structural and surface properties. Here, techniques like X-Ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and surface area analysis (BET) are important in providing insights into catalyst composition and morphology.
7. Continuous research and innovation are part of the process
Catalyst manufacturing has research and innovation processes as central inputs to the overall process. Ongoing research makes it possible for catalyst manufacturers to design catalysts with enhanced activity, stability, and selectivity.
Innovation guided by technologies like computational modeling and nanotechnology has also contributed heavily to facilitating the precise design and optimization of catalytic materials to achieve unique purposes.
To bring things to a close,
The above are some of the most important things you should know about catalyst manufacturing. It’s an interesting process that ensures you get catalysts that meet your unique requirements so that you can achieve specific business goals regardless of the industry that you are in.
As long as you team up with an experienced catalyst manufacturer, you will not only learn more about these processes in detail but also get products that meet or even exceed your expectations.