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Chemistry Coursework. What is meant by rate of reaction? Rate of reaction is how fast or slow a reaction takes place.

It can also be described as the speed at which the reactants involved in a chemical reaction change into products. It can be calculated with the help of this equation Why is it important to control the rate of a reaction? Most reactions are either endothermic or exothermic i.e. absorb heat or give out heat. It is important to be able to control the rate of a reaction as the rate at which heat is given out or absorbed depends on it. If the rate is too fast, too much heat might be given out, too quickly and this could be hazardous and prove to be a health and safety risk. If too much heat is absorbed really quickly, the temperature of the reactants might drop and the reaction could stop. Therefore, it is essential that the rate of reaction is controlled in order to ensure that the reactants remain at an optimum temperature for the reaction to occur and also to reduce risk of injury or heat burns. Also, in chemical industries, rate of reaction is often controlled in order to ensure that all of the reactants change into products and there is minimal wastage. This helps maximize profit. How can we measure the rate of a reaction? There are two main ways to measure the rate of a reaction: Measure how fast the reactants get used up. Measure how fast products are being formed.

The method for measuring any of the above two changes would depend on the type of reaction, the reactants being used and the type of products being formed. The rate of reaction is fastest at the start of the reaction when the number of reactants is the highest. The number of reactants decreases with time as they get changed into products and the rate of reaction decreases. What factors affect the rate of a reaction? There are numerous factors which affect the rate of a reaction. Such as, temperature, concentration, catalysts, surface area etc. A change in any of these factors can either speed up the reaction or slow it down. 1. Temperature: If the temperature is increased, the particles move faster as they gain more kinetic energy. This increases the chances of a collision occurring between particles with the required activation energy and therefore, increases the rate of reaction. On the other hand, a drop in temperature will slow down the rate of reaction as the particles will lose kinetic energy. 2. Concentration: Increasing concentration means to increase the number of particles in the same volume. An increase in the number of particles would mean that, there are more chances of a collision happening in the same amount of time. Therefore, the rate of reaction will increase. Dropping the concentration would mean that there would now be less particles and this would decrease the chances of a successful collision taking place which in turn would slow down the reaction.

3. Surface Area: In a reaction involving a solid, increasing the surface area can help speed up the reaction. This can be done by cutting the solid into smaller pieces. What this does is expose a greater surface or a larger amount of particles. As there are more particles available to take part in the reaction, the rate of reaction will increase. 4. Catalyst: A catalyst is a substance which helps speed up a chemical reaction without actually being a part of the reaction or getting used up. It generally does this by lowering the activation energy. Investigating rate of reaction between a metal and an acid. In this experiment, I plan to investigate the rate of reaction between a metal and an acid. I shall explain my choice of the metal and acid and also mention the factors which need to be controlled and the ones which I will change to see how they affect the rate of reaction. Metals We had the following three metals available: Zinc (Zn; in form of granules)-I chose not to use it because the mass and surface area of the all the granules was different. Iron (Fe; in the form of wool)-Like Zinc, it proved hard to get lumps of wool of equal surface area and masses. These two factors had to remain constant throughout the experiment in order for me to get accurate results. Magnesium (Mg; in the form of ribbons)-I chose to use the Magnesium ribbon because it had an evenly shaped cross section throughout and it was really easy to cut strips of equal size, mass and surface area. Acids Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4 ; of concentration 1 Molar)-The highest concentration of this acid available to me was 1 molar. This meant that I could only get a small range of concentrations by diluting it (0.1 molar to 1 molar). Hydrochloric Acid (HCl ; of concentration 2 molar)-Since the highest concentration of this acid was 2 molar, I could obtain a larger range of concentrations by diluting the acid (0.1 molar to 2 molar). Therefore, I decided to use Magnesium and Hydrochloric acid to investigate the speed of reaction between a metal and an acid. Word and Symbol Equations Magnesium + Hydrochloric Acid Magnesium Chloride + Hydrogen Mg(s) + 2HCl(aq) MgCl2(aq) + H2(g) Factors which could affect the rate of reaction. Surface area of magnesium strips: I can alter the surface area of the magnesium strips by cutting them to any desired length. Increasing the surface area will expose more particles and should speed up the rate of reaction whilst decreasing it should slow it down.

Concentration of hydrochloric acid: The highest concentration available is 2 molar. I can lower it by adding water. This should slow down the speed of reaction as there will be less particles of the acid in the same volume. Therefore, the chances of a successful collision happening will be lower. Temperature: If the temperature increases, the particles will have more kinetic energy and the chances of a successful collision happening will be higher. Therefore, the rate of reaction will increase. Lowering the temperature should slow down the rate of reaction. Stirring: Stirring the acid while the magnesium strip is in it could possibly have an effect on how fast the reaction occurs. Stirring could impart kinetic energy to the particle and speed up the reaction. Catalyst: It is possible that adding copper to the reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid could speed it up. I.e. the copper can act as a catalyst. It can lower the activation energy and speed up the reaction without actually taking part itself.

Reference: http://resources.schoolscience.co.uk/cda/14-16/chemistry/copch0pg5.html (Copper can act as a catalyst) Variables that I will investigate I shall be investigating how changing the concentration of the hydrochloric acid will affect the rate of reaction. I chose to investigate the concentration as I can change it accurately by measuring exact quantities of the acid and water and then mixing them to get the desired concentration. I shall be changing the concentration of the acid and the surface area of the metal and note the rate of reaction each time I make a change. I will compare the results to see how the rate is affected by the changes I make. I also wanted to investigate how the surface area of the magnesium strips will affect the rate of reaction. The surface area can be easily and accurately altered as the magnesium is in the form of strips with an even cross section. However, I only had time to test one factor and decided to choose concentration. Variables which will remain constant As I am investigating how concentration and surface area affect rate of reaction, I must make sure that all the other variables remain constant throughout the experiment and do not change the rate of reaction. The temperature must remain constant throughout as a change in temperature can either speed up or slow down a reaction. I will try to conduct the experiment with all windows and doors closed and away from any heat sources such as Bunsen burners to ensure that the temperature remains the same throughout the experiment. Also I will keep the volume of the acid constant throughout.

I shall now explain how I will be conducting the experiment which will involve measuring the rate of reaction between Hydrochloric acid and Magnesium and also noting how changing the concentration will affect the rate of reaction. How to measure the rate of reaction? There are 2 ways to measure the rate of a reaction: Measuring the rate at which the reactants get used up.

Measuring the rate at which the product is formed.

Magnesium is quite high in the reactivity series and is one of the more reactive metals. When it reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid, Hydrogen gas is released. After conducting a few preliminary tests, I observed that a considerable amount of Hydrogen gas was given out when Mg reacted with HCl. I could measure the rate at which the gas (the product) was being produced in order to obtain the rate of reaction; as the faster the rate would be, the more gas would be produced. Method During the preliminary in class, we were given the option of trying out six different methods to measure the speed of reaction but only two of them can be used to measure the rate of reaction by measuring the volume and the rate and at which a gas is being produced. I shall now explain both these methods and justify which one is better suited for my experiment. 1) Measuring the rate at which gas is produced using a gas syringe and a stopwatch. Apparatus Conical Flask (100 ml) Delivery Tube Rubber Cork Gas Syringe Stopwatch Burette Clamp Stand

Reactants Magnesium Ribbon (3cm long strip) Hydrochloric acid (50 ml)

Procedure I will measure 50 ml of HCl (the concentration will vary as it is the factor that I am investigating) using a burette and pour it into the conical flask. Next I will attach the gas syringe to a clamp stand and insert the delivery tube at one end. The other end of the delivery tube will be fitted with a rubber cork. I will drop a 3 cm long strip of Magnesium ribbon into the HCl and seal it off with the bung as quickly as possible and also start the stopwatch. I will record the volume of hydrogen produced at equal intervals (5 seconds) and continue until no more gas is produced.

Advantages The gas syringe has clearly visible markings which are easy to read. Each division represents 1cm3 of gas. This will ensure that my recordings are accurate. Also using a stopwatch will help ensure that the time interval between each recording is the same. Lastly, this experiment is quick to set up. This means that I will have time

to repeat it and get multiple results. This will help me spot any outliers, calculate an average and also help me find out if my results are reliable. Disadvantages Even though I will try to put the cork on the flask as quickly as possible, there will still be a slight time lapse and some gas might escape in that time. Another disadvantage is that there is a chance of human error while using a stopwatch and taking the reading of the volume of gas produced. 2) Measuring the rate of reaction by recording the volume of gas produced by displacing water out of a measuring cylinder and timing it. Apparatus Conical Flask (100 ml) Delivery Tube Rubber Cork Water Trough Measuring cylinder (100 ml) Stopwatch Burette Clamp Stand

Reactants Magnesium Ribbon (3cm long strip) Hydrochloric acid (50 ml)

Procedure I will measure 50 ml of HCl (the concentration will vary as it is the factor that I am investigating) using a burette and pour it into the conical flask. I will fill the measuring cylinder with water and invert it into the water trough which will be half filled with water. Attach the delivery tube to the cork and place the other end below the inverted measuring cylinder. I will drop a 3 cm long strip of Magnesium ribbon into the HCl and seal it off with the rubber cork as quickly as possible and also start the stopwatch. Finally, I will record the volume of Hydrogen release at suitable intervals by noting how much water is displaced.

Advantages It offers a simple way to measure the rate of reaction as it is quite easy to record the volume of gas produced with the help of the markings on the measuring cylinder while timing it with a stopwatch. Disadvantages

This method takes a lot of time to set up because the water trough had to be filled up each time and equipment had to be dried. Also, water that would spill while conducting the experiment will have to be wiped. Since I have a limited amount of time, I wont be able to repeat the experiment enough number of times in order to spot outliers and obtain a reliable set of results. Also some gas might escape in the time which it takes to put the cork on the conical flask. Lastly, there is the possibility of human error in taking recording the volume of gas released at the exact intervals. Overall, I concluded that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages for this method and therefore, I have decided not to use it. Instead I shall be using the gas syringe method as its more accurate and easier to set up. This means that I will be able to perform repeats to get multiple results and make sure that my data is reliable. Values of my Reactants Hydrochloric Acid and Magnesium: I will be using 50 ml of the acid along with 3cm long strips of Magnesium Ribbon for my experiment. I will conduct a preliminary in order to decide these values. The reason I have chosen these specific values is to ensure that the reaction doesnt end too quickly or go on for too long. If it goes on for too long the, I wont have time to perform repeats. If it ends too quickly I will have difficulty in calculating the rate of reaction. Why I chose the apparatus? I have chosen the apparatus such that, I get the most accurate and precise readings that can be obtained. I will be using a Burette instead of a pipette or a measuring cylinder to measure the volume of the acid. The Burette has more precise markings than the pipette and is accurate up to 0.1ml and will help me obtain the exact amount of acid that I need. I will make sure that the bottom of the meniscus is at the 50 ml mark on the burette. I will use the gas syringe instead of the measuring cylinder to measure the volume of gas produced. The gas cylinder has more clear markings which are easily visible. This will make it easier for me to obtain more accurate measurements. I am using the conical flask as it is the easiest to seal off with a rubber cork. I need to do this to ensure that all the gas produced is transferred through the delivery tube which is attached to the cork into the gas syringe.

Conclusion There is a positive correlation between the concentration of HCl and the volume of H 2 released each second. There is a positive correlation between my independent and dependent variables as when the concentration of the acid is increased the volume of gas produced each second increases. The higher the concentration, the more effect it seems to have on the volume of gas released. For example, at 0.8 molar concentration of acid, H 2 is released at a rate of 0.97cm3 /second. When the concentration is doubled to 1.6 molar, the volume of gas released more than doubles to 2.80cm3/second. My conclusion is that the higher the concentration of the acid the faster the rate of reaction will be. I have come to this conclusion because of several reasons. My results give evidence that as the concentration of Hydrochloric acid was increased, there were more atoms to collide with in the same volume and therefore more successful collisions took place and Hydrogen (product) was released at a faster rate which proves that the rate of reaction increased. This is supported by collision theory which states that in a more concentrated solution, there are more atoms to collide with so the rate of reaction is faster. I can be confident about my results and say that I conducted the experiment accurately because none of my range bars for the different concentrations of acid overlap. However, there were two outliers in my results (at 1.2 molar and 1.6 molar) which I was easily able to spot and confirm by performing repeats. I can also easy that my results are reliable as my range bars are considerably small. The results for 2.0 molar are the most reliable as all three repeats overlapped with each other. Evaluation The experiment was carried out over several days. However I ensured that all the repeats for each concentration were conducted on the same day. This made my results more reliable as I was using the exact same equipment and there was no change in temperature which could have affected the rate of reaction. To improve the reliability even more, I would like to collect all my results on the same day using the same equipment. Change in equipment can cause problems because some gas syringes might be tighter than others and would not work in the same way. Also there were several different measuring cylinders of different sizes. However, I did make sure that I used the same equipment to measure the acid and magnesium strips (burette and my ruler).