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Catalysis by acids or bases in solution is said to be general when it is possible to detect catalysis brought about by species other than the ions formed from the solvent itself (e.g. when water is the solvent, by species other than H+ and OH ions).
Source:
PAC, 1996, 68, 149 (A glossary of terms used in chemical kinetics, including reaction dynamics (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 150
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A.Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2008-09-12; version: 2.0.1.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.G02608.
Original PDF version (may be out of date): http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/G02608.pdf.
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