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Catalysts

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A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change. 

Chemical reactions occur faster in the presence of a catalyst because the catalyst provides an alternative reaction pathway with a lower activation energy than non-catalyzed reactions. The catalyst is not consumed in the process and can continue to act repeatedly. Hence only very small amounts of catalyst are required to alter the rate of a chemical reaction. We offer a full range of metal catalysts in varying purities and concentrations that includes homogeneous catalysts, supported/unsupported heterogeneous catalysts and fuel cell catalysts for anodes, cathodes, electrodes.

heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts

 

Types of Catalysts

Homogeneous Catalyst: If the catalyst and the reactants are in the same phase (liquid/solid or gas), the catalyst is referred to as a homogeneous catalyst. Metal compounds, e.g., palladium(II) nitrate, Iridium(IV) oxide, are a good example of homogeneous catalysts. 

Heterogeneous Catalyst: If the catalyst and reactants are in different phases, the catalyst is referred to as a heterogeneous catalyst. Examples of heterogeneous catalysts are pure metals such as platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd,) and iridium (Ir). These pure metal catalysts are unsupported heterogeneous catalysts. When a heterogeneous catalyst is affixed to a material with a high surface area, such as carbon, alumina or silica, it is known as a supported heterogeneous catalyst. The support offers stability to the heterogeneous metal catalyst.

 

Note that enzymes -- biological catalysts that accelerate biochemical reactions -- are outside the scope of the present discussion, which focuses on metal catalysts and their applications.

 

Metal Catalysts / Precious Metal Catalysts & Compounds

Metal catalysts are extensively used both in the research laboratory and in industrial/manufacturing processes. Indeed, it is hard to find a complex synthetic reaction or an industrial process that does not, at some stage, require a metal catalyst.

Transition metals in particular are the metal of choice for use as catalysts in organic, organometallic and electrochemical reactions owing to their ability to:

  • exist in a variety of oxidation states,
  • interchange between oxidation states
  • form complexes with organic ligands, and
  • act as a good source of electrons

 

Many key transformations in organic synthesis, e.g., cross-coupling reactions that include the Nobel Prize-winning Heck, Suzuki, and Negishi reactions, require the use of such late transition metals as palladium, platinum, gold, ruthenium, rhodium, or iridium.

We offer a wide selection of homogeneous and heterogeneous metal/precious metal catalysts for a broad range of organic synthetic reactions including metal complexes with chiral ligands for asymmetric hydrogenation, novel palladium coupling catalysts, platinum group metal (PGM)-based heterogeneous catalysts as well as Sponge Nickel catalysts. The benefits of using our metal catalysts include:

  • Shorter synthetic routes
  • Efficient manufacturing processes
  • Cost effective production
  • Safer environment

 

Popular Products

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Precious metal compounds (homogeneous)
Heterogeneous catalysts
Electrocatalysts

 

View all homogeneous catalysts

 

View all supported & unsupported catalysts

 

View all precious metal & base metal fuel cell catalysts

 

Application Highlights

We are constantly developing new catalytic materials for applications such as pharmaceuticals, fuels cells, sensors, automobiles, batteries, photographic materials, specialized plating, and catalyst manufacture.

Organic synthesis

Metal catalysts are extensively used in organic synthesis. Homogeneous catalysts are an excellent choice for highly stereospecific reactions such as asymmetric hydrogenation reactions. The Pt-catalyzed hydrogenation of unsaturated organic compounds and the cyclization of hydrocarbon chains into aromatic ring structures are examples of heterogeneous catalysis.

  Synthesis of bioactive compounds

Transition metal-mediated cross-coupling reactions have received great attention in recent years in connection with the synthesis of natural products and other biologically active molecules such as nucleosides, nucleotides, and oligonucleotides. Pd-catalysts are used extensively in carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formation, key steps in the synthesis of many bioactive compounds.

Pharma / Biopharma industry

The versatility in terms of stereoselectivity, yield efficiency and sustainability of platinum and palladium catalysts makes them the catalysts of choice in the pharmaceutical industry where one of the most important applications is the catalytic hydrogenation at low pressure of a wide range of functional groups. Processes which involve catalytic hydrogenation include the synthesis of: Vitamins A, B2 (riboflavin)and B2 (pyridoxine), dihydrostreptomycin, cortisone and ephedrine.

  Petrochemical industry

The petrochemical industry uses precious metal catalysts, mostly platinum on alumina, to produce high octane gasoline as well as many organic chemicals critical in the manufacture of many industrial products. Heterogeneous catalysts are also widely used in petroleum refining processes such as fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), hydrocracking, and hydrotreating.

 

Fuel Cells
A fuel cell, like a battery, is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction. Every fuel cell has two electrodes, an electrolyte, and a catalyst usually made of platinum which speeds up the reactions that take place at the electrodes. Platinum is renowned for its effectiveness in converting hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity. However, its high cost has limited the use of fuel cells in large-scale applications; hence the constant search for more affordable replacements. Next generation catalysts with corrosion resistant carbon supports are now available for automotive fuel cell applications.

  Environmental protection & remediation

Metal catalysts are an important component of emission control devices that reduce air pollution from exhaust gases from motor vehicles, manufacturing facilities and power plants, converting over 90% of harmful gases (e.g., hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen) into less harmful carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapor. Catalysts continue to play a major role in our pursuit of a sustainable future, e,g., in the the improvement of indoor air quality and the reduction of water pollution, organic particulates, and ozone pollution in urban areas.

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