The rapidly growing field of chemical catalysis is dependent on analytical methods for non-destructive real-time monitoring of chemical reactions in complex systems such as emulsions, suspensions and gels, where most analytical techniques are limited in their applicability, especially if the media is opaque, or if the reactants/products do not possess optical activity. High-resolution ultrasonic spectroscopy is one of the novel technologies based on measurements of parameters of ultrasonic waves propagating through analyzed samples, which can be utilized for real-time non-invasive monitoring of chemical reactions. It does not require optical transparency, optical markers and is applicable for monitoring of reactions in continuous media and in micro/nano bioreactors (e.g., nanodroplets of microemulsions). The technology enables measurements of concentrations of substrates and products over the whole course of reaction, analysis of time profiles of the degree of polymerization and molar mass of polymers and oligomers, evolutions of reaction rates, evaluation of kinetic mechanisms, measurements of kinetic and equilibrium constants and reaction Gibbs energy. It also provides tools for assessments of various aspects of performance of catalysts/enzymes including inhibition effects, reversible and irreversible thermal deactivation. In addition, ultrasonic scattering effects in dispersions allow real-time monitoring of structural changes in the medium accompanying chemical reactions.
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