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An Experiment To Investigate The Relationship Between The Surface Area And Rate Of Reaction

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GCSE Coursework:SC1 Investigation An Experiment To Investigate The Relationship Between The Surface Area And Rate Of Reaction Introduction The rate of reaction (reaction velocity) may be defined as the rate of change of concentration of a stated reactant or product. The rate of a reaction is found by measuring the amount of a reactant used up per unit of time or the amount of a product produced per unit of time. A reaction can be made to go faster or slower by changing a number of factors. In order for a reaction to occur certain things are necessary: particles must collide with each other and the collision must have enough energy for the reaction to occur. If this happens the original bonds are broken and new bonds are formed - so that new products are formed. Successful collisions (those with sufficient energy) can be increased (or decreased) by a number of factors. These key variables consist of temperature, concentration, surface area and use of and type of a catalyst. To examine the relationship between the rate of reaction and surface area I must choose to vary only surface area keeping the other variables constant. Surface area of solid - The surface area has an effect on the rate of reaction. If the solid has a large surface area per unit mass then there are more opportunities for collisions to occur between the solid and liquid. This is because there is more chance for collisions to occur. If the surface area per unit mass is small, collision can only occur with the outer atoms and is therefore limited. The diagram below illustrates this: This relationship is proportional i.e. as one doubles so does the other. ...read more.


They roughly ground chips should be ground until each individual chip is roughly about 1mm in diameter and for the finely ground chips, 0.3mm in diameter). 3. Next I will take one group of the chips and place into the hydrochloric acid with tweezers (this avoids any splash that may occur if merely dropped into the acid). As soon as the bung is fitted into the top of the conical flask, I shall start the stopwatch. 4. As soon as the volume of gas produced reaches 20cm�, I will make a note of the time, I will allow the experiment to continue recording the time at 20cm�intervals until the gas reaches 60cm�. 5. When one set of results has been completed, I will repeat steps 3-4, using new clean acid and calcium carbonate each time, and making sure that the measuring cylinder and glass bowl have been refilled with water. This, I shall repeat until three entire result tables are filled with a total of fifteen results each. 6. When the experiment is completely finished, I will wash thoroughly all items that have been in contact with the hydrochloric acid, and any remaining calcium carbonate that did not completely dissolve doing the reaction I shall put into the bin or dispose of safely to avoid any harm to the environment. Fair Test To ensure a fair test I will not only make certain all variables are kept constant other than surface area, but also take other factors into consideration. The two repeats of my test will help make sure that any human mistakes are clear so as to be rectified. I shall also need to be certain that all the instruments I use are both clean and have no flaws such as cracks or chips that may cause inaccurate results. ...read more.


With only five results it is easy to have inaccurate results, if I had extended my results I could have been sure that my results were accurate. My results have supported my hypothesis however, and follow the trend I would expect so the experiment did work even if it was less accurate than the other option. There are slight flaws in my results for instance the points of the graph do not all lie exactly on the line of best fit. This could be explained by the surface area approximations that I made. The marble pieces I used were only roughly the correct surface area so I made approximations when commenting on the surface areas, which means that there is a margin for error which can explain the lack of a perfect best-fit line. The same is true of the earlier best fit lines which can be explained by the fact that the surface area of the chips was constantly changing throughout the reaction, as it was reacted with the acid, and so did the surface area to volume ratio. Also as the marble was used up the reaction would slow, as there would be less marble remaining to react with the acid reducing the chances of a collision occurring. The evidence is sufficient to imply that my hypothesis is correct but I think to prove it successfully further evidence would be necessary. I could have checked the rates of reactions I produced as a result of my experiment by carrying out a different test. If I had examined my results by doing a test measuring the mass change of the calcium carbonate I could have checked that I came up with sufficiently similar final rates of reaction, however I did not have time for this or to use a wider range of values. Erin Baker Page 1 ...read more.

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