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Rate of Reaction

Rate of Reaction
Factors Affecting the Rate of Reaction
Collision Theory
Scientific Knowledge to Enhance Quality of Life
Rate of reaction
Some reactions happen very quickly while some take more time
to complete.
Fast reaction: reactants are converted into products quickly
Slow reaction: reactants take more time to be converted into

How fast or how slow an event occurs is known as RATE.

Which of the following reactions happen quickly & slowly?

Burning of match stick
Burning of magnesium
Formation of coal
For an example: a Ferrari can travel up to 340 km in an hour. Rate: 340 km/h
A petrol pump can pump 40 liters of fuel in one minute. Rate: 40 /m
In chemical reactions, rate is measured by
Amount of reactants used up per unit time
Example: mass of reactants used per unit time
Amount of products produced per unit time
Example: volume of gas collected per unit time
How do we measure the rate of a
reaction? By using a graph

The gradient of the graph tells

us how quick the reaction
happens at any given time.
t0 is the instantaneous rate at 0
t1 is the instantaneous rate at t1
t2 is the instantaneous rate at t2
What is the difference between
average and instantaneous rate?
Average : rate of reaction within a given interval of time

i.e mass of calcium carbonate used per minute or mass or volume of
carbon dioxide produced per minute
Average rate =

Instantaneous: rate of reaction at any given time based on a graph

Instantaneous rate =
Measuring rate of reaction
For an example:
Reaction between calcium carbonate and dilute hydrochloric acid

Reactants Products

By measuring the decrease in the mass of calcium

carbonate as measure
How can we the reaction
the rate ofproceeds.
reaction here?
Time Decrease in mass
(s) CaCO3 (g)
0 0.000
10 0.020
20 0.048
30 0.081
40 0.116
50 0.142
60 0.157
70 0.164
80 0.164
Hence, the average rate of reaction from 0s to 10s

What is the average rate of reaction from 30s to 50s?

Instantaneous rate
Usually obtained from the graph
Instantaneous rate =

Example: decomposition of nitrogen oxide into nitric oxide and oxygen

The instantaneous decomposition of NO2

Size of
(total surface

Presence of Concentratio
catalyst n of reactant
the rate of

Application Temperature
of pressure of reactant
Size of reactant

How will you fry a potato?

Do you fry it whole or cut it into pieces?

When we cut the potato into pieces, the surface area increases. This
makes frying easier and faster.

The same concept applies for chemical

reactions. The smaller the size of the reactant,
the bigger its total surface area.
Size of reactant
Blue: magnesium
Red: hydrochloric acid
The total surface area of the
magnesium in A is smaller than B.
Hence, the number of particles
colliding in A is lesser than B and
this reduces the frequency of
collision and effective collision in

Conclusion: The rate of reaction

in B is faster than A.
When concentration of a reactant is increased, the rate of
reaction becomes faster.
In experiment A, concentration of HCl = 1.0 M
In experiment B, concentration of HCl = 0.5 M
In both experiments, mass of magnesium ribbon = 0.06 g


acid and concentration
Effect of concentration
The concentration in experiment A is higher than B.
[More particles in A than B]

The particles in A are more closer to each other than

the particles in B.

Hence particles in A are more likely to meet and

react compared to particles in B.

Frequency of collision and effective collision in A is

higher than B.

This increases the rate of reaction in A to be higher

than B.
When the temperature of the reactants in a reaction are
changed, this affects the rate of reaction.
Experiment A: 28 C
Experiment B: 38 C
Experiment C: 48 C
Effect of temperature

Due to the
Particles absorb increase in
When temperature
more energy and energy, particles
travel faster. collide with more

Frequency of
Rate of reaction
effective collision
becomes faster
Catalyst : a substance that changes the rate of chemical reactions
[Remember : a catalyst will NOT be used up during the reaction it
is neither reactant nor product]
2 types of catalyst: positive & negative
Examples of catalysts:
Iron for the Haber process (production of ammonia)
Vanadium (V) oxide for the contact process (production of sulphuric acid)
Combination of platinum and rhodium for Ostwald process (production of
nitric acid)
Inhibitor : a substance that interferes with action of catalyst and
slows down the rate of reaction.
How does a catalyst work?
All chemical reactions need a minimum energy to occur.
This energy is known as

Hence, reactants colliding must reach this minimum energy in

order to produce the products of the reaction.
A catalyst reduces this energy which is required to for the
reaction to occur.
More collisions will happen successfully when less energy is
Effect of catalyst

Difference in pressure only affects the rates of reactions
involving gases.
When pressure increases, the rate of reaction will increase.
Effect of pressure

When pressure is increased, the gas

particles are pushed closer together.

The particles have lesser space to

move in.
This increases the chances of the
particles colliding.

When the frequency of collision and

effective collision between the particles
increases, the rate of reaction will be
Time to try some questions to test
your understanding!