Catalysts are substances that speed up the rate of a chemical reaction without getting consumed in the process. The catalyst operates by creating a lower-activation-barrier path between the starting material and the finished product than the uncatalyzed process. Catalysis allows a wide range of materials to be converted into important and necessary products rapidly, efficiently, and with minimal energy and waste. Catalysis is extremely important in industry, the environment, and our daily lives.
A porous material can be defined simply as any solid that contains void space(s), that is, space that is not occupied by the primary framework of atoms that make up the solid's structure. The "matrix" or "frame" refers to the skeletal portion of the material. A fluid is usually filled into the pores (liquid or gas). Although the skeleton material is normally solid, structures such as foams might benefit from the concept of porous media. Porous materials, particularly those that are thermally stable, are widely applied in chemical separators, tissue engineering and as adsorbents, catalysts, and catalyst supports.