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A substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed itself in the reaction.
A substance that alters (usually increases) the rate at which a reaction occurs.

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Essential Oil

A plant extract that has a distinctive odour or flavour.

Compressed Gas

A gas or mixture of gases having, in a container an absolute pressure exceeding 40 psi at 21.1°C (70°F)

Noble Gases (Rare Gases)

Elements of the periodic Group 0, also called rare gases, formerly called inert gases, He,Ne,Ar, Kr, Xe, Rn.

Sigma Bonds

Bonds resulting from the head-on overlap of atomic orbitals, in which the region of electron sharing is along and (cylindrically) symmetrical to the imaginary line connecting the bonded atoms.

Activity Series

A listing of metals (and hydrogen) in order of decreasing activity.

Fossil Fuels

Substances consisting largely of hydrocarbons, derived from decay of organic materials under geological conditions of high pressure and temperature (metamorphism) include coal, petroleum, natural gas, peat and oil shale.  For further information see Fuel Chemistry


A substance that produces H+(aq) ions in aqueous solution. Strong acids ionize completely or almost completely in dilute aqueous solution. Weak acids ionize only slightly. Chemicals or substances having the property of an acid are said to be acidic.


The quantitative application of Faraday's Law to the analysis of materials. The current and time are the usual variables measured.

Metathesis Reactions

Reactions in which two compounds react to form two new compounds, with no changes in oxidation number. Reactions in which the ions of two compounds exchange partners.


Weak Electrolyte

A substance that conducts electricity poorly in a dilute aqueous solution.