Can someone explain how a catalyst that reduces the reaction time by 50% at room temperature might work?

Expert Answers
enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All catalysts work by helping attract and align the functional groups of molecules or individual atoms so that they can react with each other.  Depending upon the reactants, they may react slowly, or even not at all.  Raising the temperature may help to induce or accelerate a reaction, simply because the heat energy applied causes molecules to bump into each other repeatedly and vigorously.  Reactants at room temperature will obviously react more slowly.  To double the reaction rate at room temperature will require a knowledge of the reactants, and what particular catalysts would work.  Some won't; the ones that do will have something about their structures that will attract the circulating molecules or atoms, orient them in the correct position, allow them to react together, and release them so that the next pair of reactants can react.

revolution | Student

Raising a temperature of a object would quicken the reaction timing of the whole process, as the molecules within it would vibrate more faster, vigorously, and cause them to bump towards each other. You also must know what catalysts work for each one to better determine which one reacts with each one, so that other proccesses can take their place once they have completed.