Chemical results


Berzelius who created the final form of chemical stoichiometry, discovered in 1835 the phenomenon of catalysis, but he could not interpret the process stoichiometrically. This could not be done in the following one and a half century either. This interpretation becomes possible in a natural way by using cycle stoichiometry, i.e. by pointing out that the catalyst is one of the internal components of a cyclic process.

Catalysis at two levels

Albert Szent-Györgyi got his Nobel-prize in 1937 for his studies concerning Vitamin C and for discovering „fumaric acid catalysis”. After it had turned out that several steps of this system of processes is catalyzed by enzymes, the profession treated this statement tacitly as an interpretational failure of the Nobel Committee, because of the belief that the catalyst is not fumaric acid, but the enzymes. However, cycle stoichiometry proves unambiguously that the Nobel Committee has been right: „fumaric acid catalysis” exists. Namely, the Krebs cycle (Nobel prize, 1953) as a whole, behaves as a catalyst, irrespective of the fact whether its individual steps are catalyzed by enzymes, or not. The processes of this two-level catalytic process can be treated quantitatively by means of cycle stoichiometry.


In the late nineteen-sixties, Eigen and Gánti discovered independently of each other that autocatalysis is a self-reproducing chemical cycle. Neither of them published this as a separate chemical result, but Eigen published it in 1971, built it into his hypercycle theory, whereas Gánti in the same year used it as part of his chemoton theory. Later on, Gánti elaborated also the cycle stoichiometry of autocatalytic processes.


Half a century ago it was acknowledged that enzymes consist of two parts, namely the apo-enzyme with protein-like nature, and the co-enzyme having small molecular mass. The concept co-enzyme is used up to now. However, by means of cycle stoichiometry it can be proven unambiguously that no co-enzyme in the old sense exists, they are stoichiometric reaction partners like any other reaction partner. Nevertheless, a so-called co-enzyme coupling exists connecting two enzymatic cycles by the bidirectional transformation of the same compound, which compound behaves thus in this system as a catalyst. Co-enzyme coupling can also be treated quantitatively by means of cycle stoichiometry.

Chemical reaction networks

In the last almost two centuries, chemistry has studied mainly individual reactions, in several cases coupled chemical reactions. Chemical networks have only been treated by biochemistry, but only in a qualitative way, since chemical stoichiometry could not handle chemical feed-backs, cycles or more complex reaction networks, as by using conventional stoichiometry, overall equations can be formed only from linearly coupled reactions. By the application of cycle stoichiometry, the overall equations of arbitrarily complicated reaction sytems can be dealt with, except for systems containing so-called OR-branchings. (These OR-branchings are stoichiometrically undefined, but they can be treated kinetically, and they may play an important role in controlling fluid automata from the outside.)

Fluid (chemical) machineries

It has already been mentioned in the introductory part (see fluid (chemical) automata) that human technology applies only mechanical and electric instruments for manipulating energy in its machineries, though the living world manipulates energy in its machineries in a fundamentally chemical way. The latter manipulations occur in solutions, in the fluid state without using any solid construction. The essence of the design of these systems is provided by the organizational mode of various reaction networks. However, the results of these manipulations can be transformed into mechanical or electric energy changes by means of appropriate solid or semi-solid constructions (soft automata). By this method, the living world solved every task necessary for it, from the programmed production of different chemical compounds to flying, from information operations to self-protection.

The secret of the methods is hidden in the possible organizational ways of reaction networks. The mode of visualization of these networks developed in the chemoton theory (the separation of AND/OR branchings), together with cycle stoichiometry makes the quantitative design of these networks at a desk possible. Thus design of fluid automata is possible in the way as engineers design mechanical or electric machines. Chemoton theory provides thereby, in addition to mechanical and electric technology, the possibility for developing a new, third technology for humanity.

Self-reproducing automata

Half a century ago, J. von Neumann proved that self-reproducing   automata can be produced in principle, but no such automata have been produced since then by human technology. This is so, in spite of the fact that the phenomenon of self-reproduction has been known in chemistry already for a century (autocatalysis). The fact that self-reproducing machineries can be actually realized in the realm of fluid (chemical) automata is proven individually by the tens of millions of living species.

By means of methods developed for designing fluid automata, self-reproducing, and even proliferating, spatially separated automata can be constructed. The simplest fluid automaton operating in a program-controlled way is called chemoton . The whole theory was named after this unit. The chemoton is a chemical supersystem consisting of three autocatalytic chemical systems coupled by a particular stoichiometry. The chemoton symbol , the chemoton coupling comprising the stoichiometric and network fundamentals, as well as the overall equation of the chemoton providing the quantitative relationships of chemoton can be found in the following pages.

It can be proven about fluid automata of chemoton coupling that they behave as living sytems, and conversely, all living sytems are fundamentally sytems of chemoton coupling, irrespective of how many other layers of regulation have been added to them in evolution.