Scientists Say: Catalyst

This is a material that brings chemical reactions up to speed

Scientists might add a catalyst to a chemical mix make a reaction go faster.


Catalyst (noun, “CAT-ah-list”)

This is a material that speeds up a chemical reaction. A catalyst can help a chemical reaction that would take hours or even years on its own happen in just a few seconds. In living things, molecules called enzymes can serve as catalysts. Catalysts are also used in manufacturing. And they can be found in some everyday things, such as cars and trucks.

In a sentence

Cars use platinum as a catalyst to help remove pollutants from exhaust.

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Bethany is the staff writer at Science News for Students. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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