Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Catalyzed and Uncatalyzed Reactions
Name: Matt
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: WI
Country: N/A
Date: February 2007

What is the difference between a catalyzed and an uncatalyzed reaction?

Catalyzed means there is some "other" chemical or surface around which happens to provide a short-cut for the reaction, so it can happen faster or at lower temperature. Uncatalyzed is doing it the hard way, so it usually requires higher temperatures to get going well enough. Sometimes those temperatures are enough higher that the chemicals break down (have undesired reactions and produce the "wrong" products).

Jim Swenson

Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory