5 Common Chemical Catalysts Used in Manufacturing

Chemicals are as important for catalyzing other chemicals as they are for producing end-products. Noah Chemicals works with manufacturers all over the world to supply ultra high-purity chemicals for catalytic reactions. In many cases, the success of a reaction depends on chemicals with exacting specifications.


Here are five common chemical catalysts used within the manufacturing industry.



Aluminosilicates are a critical component of modern petrochemical manufacturing. As a catalyst, these mixtures of aluminum + silicon dioxide (and their most innovative counterpart, zeolite) induce a process known as “catalytic cracking” which produces small hydrocarbons such as ethylene and propene that can then be gathered and used.



Iron has long been the preferred catalyst for ammonia production. Using a method known as the Haber Process, nitrogen and hydrogen gasses can be passed over four beds of catalytic material to convert at a rate of almost 97%. Finely ground iron powder is the most cost-effective, easy to obtain catalyst for use in this process on an industrial scale.



Vanadium has been used as a chemical catalyst for sulfuric acid production for over 100 years. The quality and size of the vanadium catalyst has much to do with the ultimate catalytic output; impurities such as fluorides, carbon monoxide, arsenic, and chlorides can reduce the amount of sulfuric acid present in the end-product.


Platinum + Alumina

Platinum and alumina are highly effective bifunctional catalysts. While the platinum dehydrogenates alkanes, the resulting alkene molecules are then absorbed by the alumina. Processes like this one allow for the dehydrogenation of butane into butene, an important chemical intermediary, for example.



Nickel is prized for its use as a catalyst thanks to its relatively low cost. It also has a higher catalytic performance than many other noble metals. It’s used as a heterogenous catalyst in the production of synthesis gas, also known as syngas, a fuel source that consists of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and in some cases, carbon dioxide.



The better the chemical components, the more productive a catalytic reaction is likely to be. Noah Chemicals specializes in helping manufacturers determine best-use chemicals for a variety of applications; we offer in-house catalytic processing as well as chemicals for off-site processing.

Questions about how to improve your reaction outputs? Our in-house chemists can help. Contact us today to tell us more about what you need from a chemical supplier.


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