Chemical reactions play a vital role in the field of chemistry, enabling the synthesis of various compounds and materials essential for countless applications. However, some reactions can be sluggish or require harsh conditions, making them inefficient or even impractical. This is where catalysts step in to revolutionise the world of chemistry, offering a more sustainable and efficient way to conduct reactions.


Graph showing how a catalyst lowers the activation energy of a reaction

Catalysts are substances that accelerate chemical reactions without undergoing any permanent chemical change themselves. This enables them to increase the rate of reaction by lowering the activation energy required for the reaction to proceed. There are many benefits to using catalysts:

Enhanced Reaction Rate: Catalysts can boost the rate of reactions, making them more time-efficient.

Sustainable Chemistry: Catalysts allow reactions to occur under milder conditions, such as lower temperatures or less toxic solvents, promoting greener and cleaner chemistry.

Selective Product Formation: Chiral catalysts can yield specific chiral product forms, making them valuable for selective synthesis.

Carousel 6 Reaction Station

Using catalysts effectively requires careful consideration of various factors, including:

Inert Atmosphere: Certain catalysts may be air-sensitive, necessitating the use of an inert atmosphere during the reaction.

Mode of Agitation: Magnetic stirrer bars are commonly used for stirring, but in some cases, overhead stirring may be required to prevent damage to the catalyst.

Control of Reaction Parameters: In specific scenarios, researchers may need to monitor and control additional parameters, such as pH.

Equipment for Parallel Synthesis: To facilitate multiple reactions at the same time and ensure consistent conditions, equipment like the Radleys Carousel 6 and Carousel 12 reaction stations are invaluable.

Many of our customers work in the field of catalysis and use our products for their research. Here are several case studies that demonstrate the successful application of catalysts in various areas:

Carousel 12 Reaction Station

Small Library Synthesis: Researchers from Ege University utilised a Carousel 12 reaction station to create a small library of compounds using nitrile substituted NHC-Ir(III) and NHC-Ru(II) complexes as catalysts.1

Optimisation of Industrial Processes: A group at the University of Lisbon explored the use of MoO3 nanoparticles as catalysts for oxidative desulfurization reactions, optimising the process using a Carousel 12.2

Scaffold Synthesis: Italian researchers achieved highly efficient and mild gold(I) catalyzed synthesis of diones with the help of the Carousel 12, paving the way for potential pharmaceutical applications.3

Biocatalysis: Johnson Matthey harnessed the benefits of imine reductases for the synthesis of cyclic amines, optimising the reactions using the Mya 4 reaction station.4

When working with catalysts that require separation at the end of the reaction, solid supported catalysts offer a convenient option. The Hilton group demonstrated this by designing 3D printed stirrer devices containing palladium catalysts, simplifying purification and recovery processes.5 If it isn’t possible to use solid supported catalysts then work up stations such as the Radleys Carousel Work-Up station can facilitate parallel or sequential work-up of up to 12 samples, using filtration, phase separation, liquid/liquid extraction or SPE techniques.


Our final tip for successful catalysis research is to use clean stirrer bars! Dirty stirrer bars can act as phantom catalysts or affect reaction outcomes, as discussed in an article by the RSC; so, ensuring cleanliness is crucial.5


Catalysis continues to be a game-changer in the realm of chemical reactions, enabling researchers to carry out diverse and complex transformations with greater efficiency and sustainability. By leveraging the insights and case studies shared in this webinar, chemists can forge new paths in catalysis research and contribute to the advancement of science and technology.


To find out more about this topic watch our webinar: Case Studies in Catalysis – Success Stories and Tips for More Efficient Reactions



  1. S. Cakir, S. B. Kavukcu, O. Sahin, S. Günnaz and H. Türkmen, ACS Omega, 2023, 8, 5332-5348
  2. R. N. Sales and C. D. Nunes, ChemCatChem, 2022, 14, e202200800
  3. A. Iazzetti, D. Allevi, A. Calcaterra, G. Fabrizi, A. Goggiamani, G. Mazzoccanti, A. Sferrazza, R. Verdiglione and V. Vergine, Molecules, 2023, 28, 300-343
  4. A. Bornadel, S. Bisagni, A. Pushpanath, S. L. Montgomery, N. J. Turner and B. Dominguez, Org. Process Res. Dev., 2019, 23, 1262-1268
  5. Chemistry World, (accessed July 2023)

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Webinar: Case Studies in Catalysis - Success Stories and Tips for More Efficient Reactions

In this webinar we share success stories and tips for more efficient catalysis. We discuss a range of topics including how catalysis is cleaner and greener, solid supported catalysts, and working up multiple reactions with ease.

We present case studies from researchers in Turkey, Portugal, Italy, and the UK who have used our products to streamline their research and achieve exceptional results.

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