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Generic graph showing the effect of a catalyst in an hypothetical exothermic chemical reaction. Notice that the catalysed (red) pathway, despite having a lower activation energy, produces the same final result.

In chemistry and biology, catalysis is the acceleration (increase in rate) of a chemical reaction by means of a substance, called a catalyst, that is itself not consumed by the overall reaction. The word is derived from the Greek noun κατάλυσις, related to the verb καταλύειν, meaning to annul or to untie or to pick up.

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