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Chemistry Prelims question 1





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Catalysis

An organic reaction A was found to take place in either the active site of a specialized enzyme or in a polar solvent like water. It was observed that the electrostatic field at the reaction site during the formation of the transition state and the energy of the transition state were almost identical in both the enzyme and polar solvent. It was observed that the reaction rate of A was around 1000 times higher in the enzyme than in the polar solution. Given that only the electrostatic field of the surroundings is responsible for the energy of the transition state and there is no change in the reaction mechanism, explain the above observation. Also, predict the rate of the reaction in a nonpolar solvent.

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