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Speeding up chemical reactions

Have you ever wondered at what speed chemical reactions take place? Sure, some like mixing soda and mints or fireworks seem to happen near instantly. But others, like rusting of iron (or cooking!) take ages.

Far from the being a silly question, this is a topic of some research at universities abroad and at University of Wollongong in Australia in particular. The speed of chemical reactions dictates how fast products are produced and also how fast electricity is generated. This speed is influenced by various factors like the energy available to power the reaction, the amount of chemicals, and catalysts (chemicals that speed up chemical reactions without themselves being consumed).

When catalysts operate quickly and with minimal energy input, it is more cost-effective, productive and greener. This is what scientists at University of Wollongong have achieved. They played around with atoms, using them as Lego blocks to build synthetic materials that far more efficient than naturally occurring catalysts. One such materials created by the researchers at the University is silicene. It is only a single atom thick, allowing electrons to streak across it at speeds close to the speed of light with only minimal energy input required to propel them.

University of Wollongong is among the leading universities in Australia. The University of Wollongong is ranked among the best 20 modern universities in the world in the QS Top 50 Under 50 Rankings 2019. It’s also among top 1% of the world for employability according to  QS World Rankings 2019. ECU has a main campus in Wollongong (about 1.5 hours away from Sydney) and also smaller campuses in Sydney and other cities in Australia. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes in engineering, IT, business and management and humanities.

Some popular courses at University of Wollongong are:

  • Master of Engineering (various specialisations)
  • Master of Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering (various specialisation)
  • Master of Business (various specialisations)
  • MBA


Applications to Australia and other countries are open for 2019 and 2020 intakes. So, what are you waiting for? Head to your nearest STORM office to find out more and start applying! While you’re at it, don’t forget to download STORM Overseas app from Google Play store to keep on top of latest news and developments, courses and scholarships and get to speak to current students studying abroad and win cool prizes!