A catalyst is defined as something that speeds up a process. The catalyst is not used up during the process so it can be used again.

Making a necklace out of beads and a string is a process that can be speeded up by something that is not used up in the making of the necklace - a needle. If you try to thread beads onto a piece of string using only your fingers it could take you a very long time. However, if you use a needle, it is easy to thread the beads onto the long, thin needle. Once you get done making the necklace the needle can be used again to make another one. The needle is like a catalyst because it is not used up during the process of making the necklace, but it speeds up the process!

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