catalysis, in chemistry, the modification of the rate of a chemical reaction, usually an acceleration, by addition of a substance not consumed during the reaction. The rates of chemical reactions—that is, the velocities at which they occur—depend upon a number of factors, including the chemical nature of the reacting species and the external conditions to which they are exposed. A particular phenomenon associated with the rates of chemical reactions that is of great theoretical and practical interest is catalysis, the acceleration of chemical reactions by substances not consumed in the reactions themselves—substances known as catalysts.
catalyst, in chemistry, any substance that increases the rate of a reaction without itself being consumed. Enzymes are naturally occurring catalysts responsible for many essential biochemical reactions.
promoter, in chemistry, substance added to a solid catalyst to improve its performance in a chemical reaction. By itself the promoter has little or no catalytic effect. Some promoters interact with active components of catalysts and thereby alter their chemical effect on the catalyzed substance. The interaction may cause changes in the electronic or crystal structures of the active solid component. Commonly used promoters are metallic ions incorporated into metals and metallic oxide catalysts, reducing and oxidizing gases or liquids, and acids and bases added during the reaction or to the catalysts before being used.