Enzymes are biological catalysts generated by an organism to speed up chemical reactions. Enzymes speed up reactions by providing an alternative reaction pathway, but enzymes do not undergo permanent changes.
Most chemical catalysts are not very selective or specific. In contrast, enzymes are usually highly selective, catalyzing specific desired reactions only.
Enzymes have advantages over chemical catalysts when used in industrial processes:
- They are safe and 100% biodegradable
- They do not require high pressure
- They do not require high temperatures
- They generate highly specific reactions
- They reduce energy costs
- They reduce environmental compliance costs
- They reduce side reactions that decrease product yield and product quality