Relationship Between Surface Area and Rate Of Reaction Essay

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An Experiment To Investigate The Relationship Between Surface Area and Rate Of Reaction


The rate of reaction (reaction velocity) may be defined as the rate of change of concentration of a stated reactant or product. The rate of a reaction is found by measuring the amount of a reactant used up per unit of time or the amount of a product produced per unit of time. A reaction can be made to go faster or slower by changing a number of factors. In order for a reaction to occur certain things are necessary: particles must collide with each other and the collision must have enough energy for the reaction to occur. If this happens the original bonds are broken and new bonds are formed - so that new products are formed. Successful
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Also when a collision occurs they have more energy and so are more likely to be successful in breaking and reforming bonds than when they have less energy and are moving more slowly. Therefore the rate of the reaction will increase. As a rule of thumb when the temperature increases by 10C, the rate of the reaction roughly doubles.

The concentration of the acid- The more concentrated the solution, the more particles of reactant are present in a given volume and the greater the chance of a collision occurring. In dilute acids, with fewer particles the chance of collisions occurring is reduced.
Therefore if concentration is increased, the reaction rate also increases. This also applies in reactions between two gases when increasing the pressure has the same effect as increasing the concentration. The presence of a catalyst - A catalyst increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being used up. Catalysts are usually transition metals. In the presence of a catalyst, less energy is needed by a collision in order to be successful. Therefore there are relatively more successful collisions and so the reaction rate increases. I have decided to investigate how a change in surface area will affect the rate of the reaction between calcium carbonate (marble chips) and hydrochloric acid. The word equation for this reaction is:

Calcium + Hydrochloric -> Carbon + Water + Calcium
Carbonate Acid Dioxide Chloride

CaCO3(s) + 2HCL(aq) = CO2(G) + H2O(l) +
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