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The Oxidation Catalyst: A Simple Guide

An oxidation catalyst is a material that speeds up the oxidation reaction. It is a necessary component of fuel cells and other electrochemical devices. Without it, the response would be too slow to be helpful. The following guide will provide you with information about this vital chemical.

What is Oxidation Catalyst?

The oxidation catalyst is a chemical compound that speeds up the oxidation rate. Oxidation, which is the process of an electron being lost from an atom or molecule, occurs naturally and can be spurred on by catalysts such as iron. Catalysts are chemicals that don’t undergo any change themselves but lower the activation energy needed for a reaction to occur, thereby increasing its rate.

How Does Oxidation Catalyst Work?

The oxidation catalyst works by lowering the activation energy needed for a reaction. This increases the rate of oxidation and allows it to occur more quickly. However, the catalytic process involves transferring electrons from one molecule to another, which ultimately causes the atom or molecule to become unstable.

What Are Some Uses for Oxidation Catalyst?

There are many practical uses for oxidation catalysts. One of its most common applications is in wastewater treatment plants, where it breaks down pollutants. It is also used in fuel cells, which help generate electricity.

What are the Detrimental Effects of Oxidation Catalyst?

The oxidation catalyst is used in many processes because it speeds up the oxidation process. However, this also means that its presence can harm humans and other living creatures. For example, it has been shown to cause cancerous tumors in laboratory animals when their bodies have come into contact with too much iron over a long period. Therefore, the FDA only allows food products containing less than 0.02% concentration of oxidized oil to manage labels stating they do not include any hydrogenated oils or trans fat.

Who Discovered Oxidation Catalyst?

The first person credited for discovering oxidation catalysts was Carl Wilhelm Scheele during 1771-1786, but he didn’t publish his findings until after his death. Scheele was a Swedish chemist whose other research included the discovery of chlorine and oxygen.

When Was Oxidation Catalyst First Used?

Oxidation catalyst has been used for centuries, but its first primary application was in wastewater treatment plants in the early 20th century. However, it wasn’t until later that it began to be used in other industrial processes and electrochemical devices.


This guide has given you a basic understanding of oxidation catalysts. However, it is a crucial component in many industrial processes. Therefore, it needs to be handled with care to avoid detrimental health effects from being exposed to too much iron over an extended period.

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