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Lab#5: The effect of Temperature Changes on Reaction rate

Marie Picquet
4th October 2016

1. Abstract:
The purpose of the experiment is to find the effect of varying temperature on
the rate of reaction between oxalic acid and an acidified solution of potassium
The results show that the more the temperature increases, the less time it
takes to have a reaction.
The major points of the discussion will be the experimental errors due to
imprecision and equipment and try to improve the experiment by finding
At the end we can prove that the temperature has an effect on the reaction

2. Introduction:
The aim of the experiment was to see the effect of the temperature variation on the rate of
reaction between oxalic acid and an acidified solution of potassium permanganate:
5(COOH)2 (aq) + 6H+(aq) + 2MnO4 (aq) 2Mn2+ (aq) + 10CO2 (g) + 8H2O (l)
With the help of the potassium permanganate, which is purple, and knowing that the amount
of permanganate ions is always the same in the different mixtures: we can determine the
time (t) it takes for the colour to change and we can also determine the reaction rate (1/t).

3. Material and methode:

selection of syringe
100cm glass beakers
white tile
Bunsen burner
heating mat
0.2 mol/l oxalic acide
1 mol/l sulphuric acid
0.02mol/l potassium permanganate
deionised water

eye protection

4. Experimental procedure: !
First, 5 cm3 of sulphuric acid (H2SO4), 2 cm3 of potassium permanganate
(KMnO4) and 40 cm3 of water were put in a beaker (volume:100cm3) with the
help of different sizes of syringes.
note: It is important, when the volume of the solutions is taken with the syringes, to
look if there is any air bubble because otherwise the measure of the volume is not

right. If there is a bubble it is important to press the syringe to let the air bubble get

After the mixture in the beaker was made, the solution was prepared on the
tripod ( and heating mat) and the gaze was turned on to light up the bunsen
burner with a lighter (the bunsen burner should be half opened and the flame
should not be too strong). Then the tripod and the purple mixture was put
over the bunsen burner and the mixture was heated to about 40C (with the
use of a thermometer).

In the time the mixture was heating, 1cm3 of oxalic acid (C2H2O4) was
measured into a syringe.

After, the measured volume of oxalic acid was added to the mixture of 40C in
the beaker very quickly and at the same time the timer has started.

When the colour of the solution went from purple to colourless, the timer was
stopped. The timer indicated 45 seconds and the thermometer 39.3C

The experiment was then repeated another three times but with a different
temperature of the mixture heated to:
51.8C => 26s
58.4C => 25s
67.1C => 12s

5. Results:
Knowing that rate=1/time:

solution 1 solution 2 solution 3 solution 4

temperature(C) 40 51.8 58.4 67.1
time(s) 45 36 25 12
rate(s-1) 2.2x10-2 2.8x10-2 4x10-2 8.4x 10-2

6. Discussion:
First of all, it is important to realise that the experiment is not giving exact results. Indeed
during the experiment, there have been some experimental errors. The masses and
temperatures for example are just an approximative measure because it is not possible to be
really precise with the equipment furnished. And for the calculation, because the measures
that are made are only approximative, the following calculations will be based on
approximative measures what will make the calculated measure as falser. Another
experimental error is the time, when the oxalic acid is put in the mixture the timer should
directly start but it is not possible to have the exact time due to the time of reaction that is
need so there will always be false measures with the timer. And also sometimes a bit of the
solution can be dropped on the desk.
Perhaps, to improve the experiment, more sophisticated equipment could have been used
but the problem is that it is really expensive and the measures would have been more exact
but would not have been the RIGHT measure. Another thing that could help to improve it is

to be really careful and to pay attention on the time and on the measuring and mixing the
This experiment has shown, with the decoloration of the mixtures due to the permanganate
ions (purple) because they transform in manganese ions that are colourless, that the
reaction rate depends on the temperature of the mixture.

7. Conclusion:
When the temperature is increased, the reaction rate is very fast, but when the temperature
is decreased, the reaction rate is very slow. This proves that the temperature has an effect
on the temperature rate.