The Theory And Factors Affecting Reaction Rates

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Chemical Background Hydrogen peroxide is a by-product of many reactions that occur within the body – however, it is toxic so needs to be broken down. The equation for this decomposition is as follows: 〖2H〗_2 O_2 → 〖2H〗_2 O+ O_2 In the body, this reaction can be catalysed by the enzyme catalase. Catalase is not removed or used up in this reaction, and speeds up the rate of reaction. It is acting as a catalyst. The decomposition can be catalysed by other catalysts, however, and this is the basis of my investigation. By using different catalysts, I can investigate how the rate of reaction changes with each one and find out if catalase is the best catalyst for this decomposition. The collision theory and factors affecting reaction rates For a reaction to take place, two particles must collide with each other so they come in to contact. However, just colliding with each other does not initiate a reaction. Something called the activation enthalpy must be overcome. The activation enthalpy is the minimum (kinetic) energy required by a pair of molecules that are colliding before a reaction can occur. So, for a reaction to take place, pairs of molecules must collide with enough energy to equal or overcome the activation enthalpy. There are several factors that affect the rate of reaction (three of which I am investigating). The factors are as follows: Concentration of reactants – This factor is explored in more depth in a later section. Temperature – this factor is explored in
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