Supercritical fluids have unique properties that make them attractive media for chemical reactions. The reaction environment is easily tailored to suit the reaction conditions by altering temperature and pressure. The manipulation of these physical conditions increases reactant and product solubilities, provides a single homogeneous phase thus reducing interphase transport limitations, and controls extraction procedures.
Supercritical fluids have been beneficial to catalysis in several ways : catalyst lifetime and activity are prolonged leading to higher yields, and reaction rates can be several orders of magnitude higher. These effects are associated with enhanced solubility and density of components in the supercritical phase.
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