Acceleration by Double Activation Catalysis and its Negation with Rising Temperature in Hydrolysis of Cellobiose with Phthalic and Hydrochloric Acids

Chemphyschem. 2022 Feb 4;23(3):e202100804. doi: 10.1002/cphc.202100804. Epub 2021 Dec 28.


Double activation catalysis was experimentally observed in hydrolysis of cellobiose catalyzed simultaneously with phthalic and hydrochloric acids, confirming earlier theoretical prediction known from literature. Both acids can catalyze the reaction individually, and contribution of the double-activation pathway to the total reaction rate declines as temperature increases. In fact, above a certain temperature, the hydrolysis rate in presence of both acids becomes lower than the sum of the rates for the two acids acting individually. A kinetic model is proposed to explain this transition between double-activated catalysis and inhibition. The trend of declining contribution of cooperative catalytic pathway with rising temperature is theorized to be generally applicable for any reaction with a pathway involving simultaneous action of two catalysts when either of them can individually catalyze the reaction.

Keywords: asymmetric catalysis; homogeneous catalysis; hydrolysis; kinetics; reaction mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Catalysis
  • Cellobiose* / metabolism
  • Hydrochloric Acid*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Kinetics
  • Temperature


  • Cellobiose
  • Hydrochloric Acid