Biology

Difference between catalyst and enzyme

Main difference

The main difference between the catalyst and the enzyme is that the catalyst is known as the chemical that accelerates the speed of a chemical reaction, while the enzyme is a globular protein that accelerates the speed of a biochemical reaction …

Catalyst vs. Enzyme

A substance that maximizes the rate of a chemical reaction without having any change in its chemical structure is known as a catalyst; on the other hand, a biological molecule formed by living organisms that catalyze particular bio-reactions at body temperature. Catalysts can be enzymes or inorganic salts, whereas enzymes are considered one type of catalyst.

The types of inorganic catalysts are mineral ions or small molecules; Rather, enzymes are globular proteins. Inorganic catalysts are present similar in size to the substrate molecule; on the other hand, the size of the enzymes is much larger compared to the substrate molecule.

The molecular weight of the inorganic catalyst is low, while the molecular weight of the enzymes is high. Inorganic catalysts normally act on physical reactions; on the other hand, enzymes always act on biochemical reactions. Catalysts generally work less efficiently; on the contrary, enzymes work very efficiently.

Catalysts can maximize the speed of various sets of reactions, whereas enzymes can only act and increase the speed of a particular reaction. Regulatory molecules cannot control the function of inorganic catalysts; on the other hand, regulatory molecules can regulate the function of enzymes by binding regulatory molecules to the specific enzyme.

Inorganic catalysts are not sensitive to small changes in temperature, so they work at high temperatures; on the other hand, enzymes are temperature specific, so at low temperatures, enzymes become inactive and at high temperatures, enzymes are denatured.

Inorganic catalysts are usually not sensitive to small changes in pH; conversely, enzymes are sensitive to small changes in pH and operate only in a specific pH range. Inorganic catalysts work only at high pressure, while enzymes work only at standard pressure. On inorganic salts, protein poisons have no effect; on the other hand, enzymes can be affected and poisoned by poisonous proteins.

Short-wave radiation has no effect on inorganic catalysts, while short-wave radiation may have denatured the enzymes. The main examples of catalysts are iron, platinum and vanadium oxide. In contrast, some examples of the enzyme are glucose-6-phosphate, alcohol dehydrogenase, amylase, lipase, and aminotransferase.

Comparative chart

Catalyst Enzyme
Catalyst defined as the molecules that accelerate the speed of a reaction without having a change in its structure. An enzyme is known as a biological catalyst and globular protein that accelerates natural reactions.
Correlation
They can be enzymes or inorganic salts Considered as a type of catalyst
Kind
Mineral ions or small molecules Globular proteins
Size difference
Similar in size to the substrate molecule. Much larger compared to the substrate molecule.
Molecular weight
The molecular weight is low The molecular weight of enzymes is high.
Action
Act normally on physical reactions Always act on biochemical reactions
Efficiency
Work less efficiently Works highly efficiently
Specificity
You can maximize the speed of various sets of reactions. It can only act and increase the speed of a particular reaction.
Regulatory molecules
The function of inorganic catalysts cannot be controlled. It can regulate the function of enzymes by binding regulatory molecules with the specific enzyme.
Temperature
They are not sensitive to small changes in temperature, so they operate at high temperatures. Specific temperature, so at low temperature, enzymes become inactive and at high temperature, enzymes are denatured
pH
It is usually not sensitive to small changes in pH. Sensitive to small pH changes and works only in a specific pH range
Pressure
Work only at high pressure Work only at normal pressure
Protein poisons
Protein poisons have no effect It can be affected and poisoned by protein poisons.
Short wave radiation
They do not contain any effect on inorganic catalysts. May have denatured enzymes
Examples
Iron, platinum and vanadium oxide Glucose-6-phosphate, alcohol dehydrogenase, amylase, lipase, and aminotransferase
What is catalyst?

A specific substance that allows chemical reactions to occur at a faster rate under different conditions is known as a catalyst. Typically, only a small amount of catalyst is needed to start or catalyze the reaction. Generally, catalysts slow down the activation energy of one reaction by driving another pathway to the reaction. A temporary intermediate is formed in a low energy state when the catalysts react with the substrate.

Catalyst types

  • Inorganic Catalyst – Could be a transition metal or maybe a transition metal oxide. Transition metals contain a wide range of specificity. Transition metals provide a convenient surface area for chemical reactions to occur in different ways, reducing the rate of activation energy for a chemical reaction. They are used as fine powders that have a maximum surface area. Inorganic catalysts further divided into two categories are based on the nature of a substance as heterogeneous catalysts or homogeneous catalysts.
  • Enzyme: It is a globular protein that catalyzes the many biochemical reactions within the cell in the presence of a specific body temperature.

What is an enzyme?

Biological macromolecule formed by living organisms to catalyze biochemical reactions within specific cells at average body temperatures. The functions of enzymes are extensive, as they are crucial for the maintenance of life.

All biochemical reactions, which occur within the body of living organisms, depend on enzymes around 4,000 enzymes well known so far. Enzymes usually act under normal conditions such as normal body temperature and pH.

The functions of enzymes are very specific and their main function is to catalyze the construction reactions and the decomposition of many materials within living organisms. Enzymes are made up of high molecular weight globular proteins.

Enzymes need cofactors for their assistance during their work. Cofactors are considered inorganic ions like Zn 2+ , Mg 2+ , Fe 2+, and Mn 2+, or many small organic molecules are known as coenzymes. Enzyme activity can be accelerated or inhibited by binding of enzyme cofactors.

Key differences

  1. A catalyst considered as a substance that accelerates the speed of chemical reactions without having any permanent in its structure; On the other hand, an enzyme is considered biological molecules that are synthesized by living organisms that work at body temperature.
  2. Inorganic catalysts contain low molecular weight; on the contrary, the enzyme contains high molecular weight.
  3. Catalysts usually act on physical reactions, while the enzyme acts on biochemical reactions in living organisms.
  4. Inorganic catalysts work at high temperatures because they are not sensitive to small changes in temperature; conversely, enzymes do not operate at high temperatures; instead, they operate at normal temperatures.
  5. Inorganic catalysts are generally not sensitive to small changes in pH, whereas enzymes operate in particular pH ranges.
  6. Protein poisons have no effect on inorganic catalysts, while short-wave radiation denatures the properties of enzymes.

Final Thought

The catalyst and enzyme are substances that accelerate the rate of a chemical reaction by minimizing the activation energy. The difference between them is that catalysts are small molecules that catalyze chemical reactions in living organisms, while enzymes are considered macromolecules that catalyze specific biochemical reactions.

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