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How does the Concentration of Hydrochloric Acid affect the Rate of Reaction with

Independent Variable: Concentration of HCl (mol/dm3) (use 1, 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.2, 0
Dependent Variable: Volume of gas (H2) created in a minute
Control Variable:
Control Variable
Explanation on why it has
How to control it
to be controlled
Size of magnesium strip
If there is more magnesium Use a ruler to make sure
added, it will increase the
they are all 2cm long
reaction with the
hydrochloric acid, as there
is more magnesium to
react with
Temperature affects the
Do all experiments in room
rate of reaction, if it is
hotter, it speeds up
reaction, if it is colder,
reaction gets slower
Time measuring the
I need to make sure each
Use a stop watch to make
experiment lasts for the
sure I time the experiment
same duration as if it is
for 1 minute
measured in various times,
it gives more/less time for
the experiment to react
Source of water
Water could have
Always use distilled water
impurities which can affect as its 100% with no
the concentration of acid
and rate of reaction
Source of Hydrochloric acid Different types of HCL
Use from the same brand
might have a different
of HCL
effect in reaction
Use the same apparatus
You need to use the same
Wash, dry and reuse same
apparatus like measuring
tubes as if you use
different ones, it will have
a different scale- making it
harder to compare.
Gas Syringe
Stop watch
Conical flask
1M HCL (225cm3 in total)
2cm strips of Mg (15 strips in total)
Clamp and stand
Measuring cylinder

Safety Precautions: Girls tie hair up and wear safety goggles at all times.
1. Set up experiment: Get all the equipment needed and hold the gas syringe in
place with a clamp and stand.
2. Measure 25cm3 of HCl acid (concentration of 1mol/dm3) with a measuring
cylinder then pour it in to a beaker*.
3. Pour the acid in the beaker into the conical flask.
4. Polish the magnesium strip with emery cloth until its entire surface is shiny, to
rub out the layer of magnesium oxide as well as using a ruler to measure the
length of the magnesium strip to be exactly 2cm long each time- use scissors or
bend it if it is too long.
5. Drop the 2cm strip of magnesium into the conical flask and once the
magnesium comes in contact with the acid, immediately start timing with a
stopwatch. During the experiment, gas will be formed during the reaction and
will transfer into the gas syringe.
6. Stop timing once it reaches a minute and measure the volume of gas produce in
the gas syringe and record results
7. Before actually recording the results, do a pilot test, to see if the experiment
works out and how effective it actually is. Then alter the plan accordingly to
make the experiment work.
8. Do the experiment 3 times with 25cm3 of HCl acid (1 mol/dm3), then repeat
experiment again, but each time change the concentration of the HCl acid (next
using 0.8 mol/dm3, then 0.6 mol/dm3, 0.4 mol/dm3, 0.2 mol/dm3, 0 mol/dm3)
*How to change the concentration of HCl:
In order to alter the concentration of HCl acid, you need to dilute the acid with distilled
To obtain:
1 mol/dm3 of HCl acid, you need 25cm3 of HCl acid and 0cm3 of water
0.8 mol/dm3 of HCl acid, you need 20cm3 of HCl acid and 5cm3 of water
0.6 mol/dm3 of HCl acid, you need 15cm3 of HCl acid and 10cm3 of water
0.4 mol/dm3 of HCl acid, you need 10cm3 of HCl acid and 15cm3 of water
0.2 mol/dm3 of HCl acid, you need 5cm3 of HCl acid and 20cm3 of water
0mol/dm3 of HCl acid, you need 0cm3 of HCl acid and 25cm3 of water
Measure the volume of acid and water, each with different measuring cylinders and
pour it into a beaker. Measure accordingly to the concentration you are using.
How set up should look like:



Clamp and


Volume of H2 created in 1 minute (cm3)

on of HCl
acid (dm3)

Volume of
HCl acid

Volume of

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3






From this experiment, I can conclude that the more concentrated the HCl acid is, there
is more gas being produced, thus the rate of reaction increases. This is shown when I
use a concentration of 1mol/dm3 of HCl acid, it reacted more vigorously with the
magnesium, creating a volume of 22.7cm3 of hydrogen in a minute. But when I used a
much lower concentration of acid, like 0.2mol/dm3 of HCl, which only produced a
volume of 1.7cm3 of hydrogen in a minute.
Reaction equation:
Mg(s) + 2HCl(aq) MgCl2(aq) + H2(g)
Higher concentrations speeds up the rate of reaction as having a higher concentration
in HCl acid, there will be more particles in the acid, increasing the chances of them to
collide, thus reacting- and more collision means a faster reaction.
Overall, I think my results are decent as it follows the trend of the more concentrated
the acid, the more hydrogen gas is produced. There were not many noticeable
anomalies but my results were not perfect. There was an anomaly in test 1 when
experimenting with 1mol/dm3 of HCl acid, where 18cm3 of hydrogen gas was produced,
which was significantly lower than test 2 and 3, where 23cm3 and 27cm3 of hydrogen
gas was produced. A reason that this could happen is due to not polishing the
magnesium well enough with the emery cloth. As there is still some magnesium oxide
layer over the metal, it makes it less reactive when in contact to the acid, than if it
where to be pure magnesium. To improve this for next time, I should be more carefully
in polishing, avoid the magnesium strips which are too tarnished, and make sure the
strip is completely shiny all around (or as much as it could be) before using it for an
experiment. Also as I polish the magnesium, it reduces the amount of magnesium I
use in the experiment, so to improve it for next time, I should also weigh it, so the
mass for each strip has the same mass.
Another issue for not receiving more accurate results than I could have is due to the
fact that I diluted my own acid, I could have made the concentration of the acid a bit
too concentrated or diluted than it should be. To improve this when doing it next time,
I should look at the level of the acid and water from eye level, making sure it is
exactly level to the volumes I need. Next time, I should also read the volumes from a
flat surface, to make the levels of the liquid and flat as possible.
An issue that could also cause my results not to be as reliable as it could be that I
timed it too early or too late when I drop the magnesium into the solution. When the
time given for the rate of reaction to take place too short, it would give results lower
than it should be as it has less time to react with the acid and vice versa when timing
it too long. To improve the accuracy of timing, I could ask my friend to time it and give
a countdown to know when I should release it and when to time it. I should also keep
a careful eye out, looking at the stopwatch to the exact moment it reaches a moment
and while I keep an eye out for a time, I should ask a friend to keep a close eye out on
the volume of gas is produce. So when it is about to reach a minute, I should signal

the friend to then tell us the exact volume of gas is produced after a minute of
One problem I had that couldve cause some slight errors was the bung kept coming
out at times and the tube wasnt secured tightly on to the gas syringe. This could
cause inaccuracies as the hydrogen gas could escape out of the gaps, thus not
showing the actual amount of gas produced from the reaction. To improve this, next
time I must make sure it is sealed in tightly or ask a friend to push the bung and hold
the tube in place so no gas escapes.
During the pilot test (trial experiment), I realize there were some flaws in the plan, so
I altered it, to make it more realistic and to improve the results for my experiment.
This included, extending the time we measured the experiment to take place from 30
seconds to 1 minute. This is because there was not enough time given for the metal
and acid to react, and the results would be too similar. Another thing I modified was
the size of the magnesium strip, as using 4 cm strips of magnesium was unrealistic
and the limited amount of supplies we had for this experiment. Also at first, I did not
polish the magnesium, until I realize there was impurities and a layer of magnesium
oxide on it, which wouldve affected the experiment, therefore I polished every strip of
magnesium before I let it react with the acid.
To further improve this investigation and make my results my reliable, I should do
more fair tests and repeat the experiment more times to get more results thus finding
a more precise average. As well as that, I can try and investigate in a larger range of
concentration, to see if the trend still follows and see it reaches an optimum point
where the concentration does not affect the rate of reaction any longer. Also, I could
extend the amount of time the rate of reaction would last, to see the changes of the
results, as during one minute, there was still some experiments that were still reacting
vigorously. Or next time, instead of looking at how much gas is produced in a certain
time, but to see how fast it would take for the rate of reaction to produce a certain
volume of gas.