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J. A. Ines/Chemistry 26.

1 (2018) P a g e |1

Iodine Clock Reaction

J.A. Ines1
1National Institute of Geological Sciences, College of Science, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101

Performed: February 07, 2018 Submitted: February 14, 2018


This experiment aims to describe chemical kinetics and to present the effects of concentration,
temperature and addition of catalyst in the rate of reactions. The effect of concentration was determined
by varying the concentration of I- and S2O82- for different trials and keeping the concentration of S2O32-
constant. It was found out that concentration has a directly proportional relationship to the rate of
reaction. Using the method of initial rates, it was determined that the overall reaction is at second order.
The effect of temperature was observed by exposing set of solutions with similar concentration to
different temperature conditions and it was concluded that the rate of reaction increases as temperature
increases. The effect of catalyst was also investigated by adding a catalyst Cu(II) from CuSO4 in a solution
and it was found out that it speeds up the rate of reaction.

Introduction The Collision Theory of Chemical Reaction states

that in order for a reaction to occur, molecules,
Chemical Kinetics is the branch of chemistry atoms or ions must first collide [1]. High
that is concerned with the rate of chemical concentration of reacting species increases the
reactions, the factors that affect reaction rates, number of collisions per unit of time or the
and the mechanism at which the reactions collision frequency. High number of collision
occur. Reaction rates describe how fast a frequency results to a faster reaction hence,
reactant is used up and how fast a product is concentration is directly proportional to rate of
formed during a chemical reaction [1]. It is reaction.
expressed as the change in concentration per
unit of time. Reaction mechanism is the series of It is important to note that not all collisions lead
steps by which a reaction takes place [2]. This into a reaction. There are two factors that must
experiment will examine the kinetics of Iodide be considered in order for a reaction to occur.
ions, I- and persulfate, S2O82-. First, the molecules of reacting species must
possess energy enough to break bonds and to
S2O82-(aq) + 2I-(aq)  2SO42-(aq) + I2(aq) (1) form new bonds. This energy is known as the
Activation Energy. Second, the molecules should
As the chemical reaction proceeds, the reactants be in proper orientation when they are colliding
are being used up therefore, their concentration in order to react.
decreases while on the other hand, products are
being produced hence, its concentration The Arrhenius Equation developed by Svante
increases over time. For this experiment, S2O82- Arrhenius relates rate constant with
and I- are the reactants while SO42- and I2 are the temperature and activation energy.
products. Applying the relationship of their
rates and stoichiometry, the rate law for (3)
Equation 1 is as follows
where k is the rate constant, Ea is the activation
[ ] [ ]
(2) energy, T is the absolute temperature, A is the
Arrhenius constant and R is the universal gas
[ ] [ ] constant (8.314 J/mol·K). The Arrhenius
Equation states that given the same activation
energy for a reaction, increasing the
The values are determined experimentally using temperature will increase the rate constant k.
the method of initial rates. Since rate of reaction is dependent on k, the rate
of reaction will be faster.
J. A. Ines/Chemistry 26.1 (2018) P a g e |2

A catalyst provides an alternative reaction timer was started once the contents of beaker
pathway of lower activation energy [3]. Looking “A” mixed with contents of beaker “B” and was
at the Arrhenius Equation (Equation 3), stopped once the solution turned blue. The runs
lowering the activation energy will increase the were conducted one or two at time due to
value of k. High value of k results into a faster limited number of beakers. A video recorder
reaction hence, a catalyst speeds up a reaction. was used instead of a stopwatch so the solution
Catalyst are consumed in the first part of the can be timed and observed at the same time
reaction steps but is produced in an equal hence, reducing the manpower needed.
amount in the latter part therefore, its chemical
formula does not appear in the overall reaction. Two more sets of Run 2 were prepared for the
second part of the experiment. Those sets are
The Iodine Clock Reaction Experiment aims to referred as Set 2 and Set 3 respectively. Beakers
observe and determine the effects of “A” and “B” of Set 2 was heated on hot bath and
concentration, particularly of iodide (I-) and when the temperature of the solutions reaches
persulfate (S2O82-), temperature, and presence of around 50oC (323.15 K), contents of beaker A
catalyst like Cu(II) in the rate of a reaction. The was poured to beaker B. The recorder was
rate of I2 formation will be measured in order to started immediately and was paused when the
calculate for the reaction rates. solution turned blue.

Methodology For Set 3, the two beakers were put in an ice

bath and when the temperature reaches 10oC
Before the experiment proper, the class was (283.15 K), the contents of beaker A were
divided into three groups and was assigned to poured to beaker B and the recorder was
prepare solutions for the whole class namely; started. The recorder was stopped once the
250.0 mL 0.2 M KI, 250.0 mL 0.2 M KCl, 250.0 ml solution changes color.
0.1 M K2S2O8, 250.0 mL K2SO4, 250.0 mL 4.0
mM Na2S2O3, 20.0 mL of 1% (w/v) fresh starch For the third part of the experiment, a fourth set
solution, and 25.0 mL 0.01 M CuSO4. The starch of Run 2 from part 1 was prepared. The contents
solution was maintained at a temperature near of beaker A was poured simultaneously with 4
the boiling point to avoid the solution from drops of 0.01 M CuSO4 into beaker B. Similar to
drying up. previous parts, the timer was started and was
paused once the solution turned blue.
The experiment was then divided into three
parts namely; effect of persulfate and iodide Result and Discussion
concentration on reaction rates, effect of
temperature on reaction rates, and the effect of For this experiment, the reaction time was
catalyst on reaction rates. monitored in order to determine the effects of
concentration, temperature, and presence of
For the first part of the experiment, two 50.0 mL catalyst on the reaction rate. Each run is variable
beakers were prepared and labeled as beaker from one to another depending on the factor
“A” and “B” respectively. Each beaker contains being observed. Time was recorded for each run
specific volume of solutions per run as shown in starting when the contents of beaker “A” were
Table 1. mixed with beaker “B” until the solution turned
Table 1. The different runs for the effect of
persulfate and iodide concentrations on reaction The change in color of the solution from
rate colorless to blue can be explained by Equation 1.
Beaker B (+3 drops of Persulfate ions (S2O82-) reacts with iodide (I-)
Beaker A
fresh starch) forming I2 molecules. Thiosulfate ion (S2O32-)
Runs 0.2 M 0.2 M 0.1 M 0.1 M 4 mM was added into the solution so that it will react
KI KCl K2S2O8 K2SO4 Na2S2O3 with the I2 molecules formed from Equation 1
(mL) (mL) (mL) (mL) (mL) hence, reducing it back to iodide (I-) ions.This is
1 10.0 0.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 shown in Equation 4.
2 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
3 2.5 7.5 5.0 5.0 5.0 2S2O32-(aq) + I2(aq)  S4O62-(aq) + 2I-(aq) (4)
4 5.0 5.0 7.5 2.5 5.0
5 5.0 5.0 10.0 0.0 5.0 These iodide ions will now react with the
remaining persulfate in Equation 1 which in
The runs were conducted by pouring the turn will form another batch of I2 molecules that
contents of beaker “A” into beaker “B”. The will react with the remaining thiosulfate in
J. A. Ines/Chemistry 26.1 (2018) P a g e |3

Equation 4. This reaction mechanism will only It can be also observed that the rate heavily
come to a halt once the thiosulfate ions, which relies on the reaction order with respect to [A]
are the limiting reactant, are all used up. Free I2 and [B]. The reaction order can be obtained by
molecules that didn’t react with thiosulfate will getting the slope of the ln(concentration) versus
now react with the starch hence, forming the ln(rate) graph. For this experiment, we will
deep blue complex. From this indicator, we can generate the ln[S2O82-] versus ln(rate) and the
calculate the rate of I2 formation. ln[I-] versus ln(rate) graph. The ln[S2O32-] vs.
ln(rate) graph will not be generated since the
Table 2. The Effect of Reactant Concentration concentration of thiosulfate throughout the runs
on Reaction Rate is constant.
[S2O82-] [I-] [S2O32-] Time Rate
(M) (M) (M) (s) (M/s)
1 0.02 0.08 8x10-4 92 4.35x10-6
2 0.02 0.04 8x10-4 181 2.21x10-6
3 0.02 0.02 8x10-4 340 1.18x10-6
4 0.03 0.04 8x10-4 132 3.03x10-6
5 0.04 0.04 8x10-4 81 4.94x10-6

The temperature for each run is 24oC (297.15 K)

and the volume of each run is 25 mL. Initial
concentrations of the persulfate, thiosulfate, and
iodide were calculated using the dilution
formula. (Calculations are provided in the

M1V1 = M2V2 (5) Figure 1. ln (S2O82-) versus ln(rate)

where M is the molarity and V is the volume of The graph above has a slope equal to 1.135
the solution. Rate of reaction was calculated which is approximately equal to one therefore;
using the following relationship. (Calculations the reaction order with respect to S2O32- is 1.
are provided in the Appendix)

[ ] [ ]

Table 2 shows the different concentration of

persulfate ions (S2O82-) and iodide (I-), reaction
time and rate of reaction per run. From the data
given, it can be observed that increasing the
concentration of persulfate (S2O82-) [see runs
2,4, and 5] and keeping the concentration of
iodide (I-) and thiosulfate (S2O32-) will result to a
less reaction time and a faster reaction rate. This
is also true when you increase the concentration
of iodide [see runs 1,2, and 3] and kept the Figure 2. ln (I-) versus ln(rate)
concentration of persulfate and thiosulfate
constant. This relationship between rate of The slope of the graph above is 0.9429 or
reaction and concentration can be derived from approximately equal to one. Hence, the reaction
the general equation of the rate law. order with respect to I- is equal to one..

Rate = k[A]m[B]n (7) From the two figures above, we can conclude
that the overall reaction order of Equation 1 is
where k is the rate constant, [A] and [B] is the at second order. This implies that when you
concentration of reacting species, and m and n doubled the concentration of either persulfate
is the order of the reaction with respect to A and or iodide, the reaction rate will be also doubled.
B respectively. From the equation, it can be
concluded that the rate of reaction is directly The rate constant for each run can be computed
proportional to the concentration of the using Equation 7. (See Appendix for
solutions. computations) The rate constant for each run is
slightly different from each other. Their average
J. A. Ines/Chemistry 26.1 (2018) P a g e |4

will give the most probable value of the rate Arrhenius constant is 2.76X106. This was
constant. The rate constant for Equation 1 is obtained from the linearized Arrhenius
2.81x10-3 M-1s-1. Equation

Table 2. The Effect of Temperature and Catalyst y= -9186.3x +25.943 (8)

on Reaction Rate
Set Temp Time Rate Rate The Activation energy gives us the idea on how
Constant much energy the molecules must possess in
K S M/s M-1s-1 order the reaction to proceed. The Arrhenius
1 297.15 181 2.21x10 -6 2.76x10-3 constant on the other hand gives us the
2 323.15 11 3.64x10 -5 4.55x10-2 frequency of effective collisions.
3 283.15 578 6.92x10 -7 8.65x10-4
4 297.15 40 1.00x10 -5 1.25x10-2 Conclusion and Recommendations

Table 3 shows the effects of different Reactant concentrations, temperature, and

temperature conditions and addition of a presence of catalyst are the factors that were
catalyst in the reaction rate. It can be observed studied regarding its effect on the reaction rate.
from Set 1,2, and 3 that increasing the It was proven that the reaction rate is highly
temperature will also result to an increase in the dependent on these factors.
rate constant and the rate of reaction. This is
The rate law obtained from this iodine clock
also implied by the Arrhenius Equation
reaction experiment is R = 2.81x10-3 M-1s-1
(Equation 3). As the temperature goes higher,
[S2O82-][I-] and the overall reaction order is at
while keeping the activation energy the same,
second order.
the rate constant will increase. Since the
reaction rate is dependent on the rate constant, This study recommends proper and consistent
the reaction rate also increases as the way of preparing and transferring solutions to
temperature increases. avoid discrepancies in the results. This study
also recommends having just one observer who
It can be also inferred from Arrhenius Equation is going to determine the reaction time to
that lowering the activation energy results in a minimize errors. This study recommends that a
larger rate constant and a faster rate of reaction. video recorder should be used instead of a
Catalyst, a substance that lowers the activation stopwatch so that the observers have a
energy of a reaction, speeds up the rate of a reference to check the accuracy and preciseness
reaction. It can be observed by comparing Set 4 of their data.
from Set 1. Both of them are held in the same
temperature of 297.15 K but a catalyst Cu(II) References
from CuSO4 was added in Set 4. Set 4 has a
larger rate constant reaction rate compared to [1] Whitten, K., Davis, R., Peck, M., Stanley, G.
Set 1. Therefore, it can be concluded that the (2010). Chemistry, Ninth Edition. Belmont,
catalyst Cu(II) speeds up the rate of reaction. California: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

[2] Zumdahl, S., Zumdahl, S. (2014). Chemistry,

Ninth Edition. Belmont, California: Brooks/Cole,
Cengage Learning.

[3] Petrucci, R., Harwood, W., Herring, F.,

General Chemistry, Eight Edition. Upper Saddle
River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.

[4] Harris, D. Quantitative Chemical Analysis 8th

ed. 2010. Madison Avenue, NY: W.H. Freeman
and Company. 134.
Figure 3. ln k versus 1/T
[5] Silberberg, M. (2013). Principles of General
Figure 3 gives us a slope of -9186.3. Multiplying Chemistry, Third Edition. New York: McGraw Hill
this slope with the universal gas constant R Education.
(8.314 J/mol·K), we will obtain the activation
energy. For this experiment, the calculated
Activation Energy, Ea is 76374.9 J while the
J. A. Ines/Chemistry 26.1 (2018) P a g e |5


A. Reactant Concentrations

Working Equation: M1V1 = M2V2

Run 1
[S2O82-] : (0.1 M)(5.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.02 M
[I-] : (0.2 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.08 M
[S2O32-] : (0.004 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.0008 M

Run 2
[S2O82-] : (0.1 M)(5.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.02 M
[I-] : (0.2 M)(5.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.04 M
[S2O32-] : (0.004 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.0008 M

Run 3
[S2O82-] : (0.1 M)(5.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.02 M
[I-] : (0.2 M)(2.5 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.02 M
[S2O32-] : (0.004 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.0008 M

Run 4
[S2O82-] : (0.1 M)(7.5 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.03 M
[I-] : (0.2 M)(5.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.04 M
[S2O32-] : (0.004 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.0008 M

Run 5
[S2O82-] : (0.1 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.04 M
[I-] : (0.2 M)(5.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.04 M
[S2O32-] : (0.004 M)(10.0 mL) = (X)(25.0 mL) X= 0.0008 M

B. Sample Calculations: Reaction Rate

Chemical Equation: S2O82-(aq) + 2I-(aq)  2SO42-(aq) + I2(aq)

2S2O32-(aq) + I2(aq) S4O62-(aq) + 2I-(aq)

[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Rate Law: 

[ ] [ ]
Run 1: Run 2 Set 1:
[ ]
Run 2 Set 2:

C. Sample Calculations: Rate Constant

[ ][ ]

Run 1:
J. A. Ines/Chemistry 26.1 (2018) P a g e |6

Run 2: Set 1

D. Activation energy and Arrhenius constant for the reaction

1. Linearized Arrhenius equation:

y = b + mx

2. Equation of the line of the plot ln k vs 1/T (sets 1-3 only):

y = -9186.3x + 25.943

a. Activation energy:

Slope = -9186.3 =-

b. Arrhenius constant: