Compound that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction and is not itself consumed in the reaction. The catalyst lower the total amount of energy required to execute the reaction, by reacting with the starting materials in a series of sequential steps. The amount of catalyst is generally small with respect to the quantities of starting material.

A species that increases the rate of reaction by providing an alternative (lower energy) pathway for the reacion to follow. It is only needed in very small concentration because it is regenerated after use.

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