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Find out and observe how factors such as heat or concentration can affect the rate of reaction between two solutions.

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Introduction

I am going to carry out an experiment to find out and observe how factors such as heat or concentration can affect the rate of reaction between two solutions. In this case the solutions I will be using are Hydrochloric acid and Sodium Thiosulphate. We are going to be experimenting on the different rates of reaction with different combinations of chemicals. We will also be carrying out tests to find out what are the elements that affect the rates of reactions, like heat or a catalyst, which may increase the rate of reaction so the reaction will take place more quicker and maybe more violently. There are elements, which can slow a reaction down as well, such as decreasing the concentration of a solution. A chemical reaction is the reaction between two solutions that form a new compound, which cannot be undone. A chemical reaction can be really fast, which is called an explosion; an example of an explosion reaction is when we burn magnesium. ( Magnesium + oxygen = magnesium oxide ). There are really slow reactions as well such as the reaction of iron with oxygen, or rusting. ( Iron + oxygen = iron oxide ) The chemicals we will be using to experiment what affects the rates of reactions and how, are Sodium Thiosulphate and Hydrochloric acid. We will be using these chemicals as they will react then give and show us clear results that will be visible and will be easily recorded. They will be clear because as the reactions take place and as a result, sulphur will be produced, there will be some sort of colour change as sulphur is yellow. ( Sodium Thiosulphate + Hydrochloric acid = Sulphur + Sulphur Dioxide + ( Na2S2O3 + HCl = S + SO2 + Sodium Chloride+ Water ) 2NaCl + H2O ) I plan to find out how the concentration of a solution can affect the rate of reaction. ...read more.

Middle

It doesn't take place too fast (3.7 seconds, at 50 degrees) which is too fast for us to observe properly, or it doesn't take place too slow (8.54 seconds, at 5 degrees) at this rate we might be waiting all day. Also, this will make it a fair test, as the acid will be at the same temperature each time, without us having to heat or cool the acid. The temperature will come naturally. The other thing we experimented with was the amount of HCL and Sodium Thiosulphate we should use, as in the volume. We decided in the end that 40 ml was the best amount of each solution to use. We did a number of tests with different volumes of solutions because this would tell us how much we should actually use in our final exam, mainly, it would keep the whole experiment more fair. First we measured out 5 ml of both Hydrochloric acid and Sodium Thiosulphate. Then we mixed them together in a beaker and timed the reaction with a stopwatch. We found out that we needed to increase the amount of both the solutions as the reaction of such a little amount of solutions was too quick for us to observe properly. So we increased the amount of both solutions by 5 ml and we repeated the experiment and timed how long the black cross under the beaker is visible for. We continuously repeated this experiment, trying to find just the right amount of solutions to use that would give us reliable results, and that wont react too fast or too slow. Here are the results- Hydrochloric Acid Sodium Thiosulphate Time taken to react 5 ml 5 ml 8.59 sec 10 ml 10 ml 7.94 sec 15 ml 15 ml 7.89 sec 20 ml 20 ml 7.01 sec 25 ml 25 ml 6.76 sec 30 ml 30 ml 6.65 sec 35 ml 35 ml 5.32 sec 40 ml 40 ml 5.03 sec 45 ml 45 ml 4.92 sec 50 ...read more.

Conclusion

This was measured out as accurately as possible every time we did the test. Some arts of the experiment could have gone better. We may have made mistakes while carrying out some of the tasks, such as measuring out the solutions for the experiment or timing the experiment because the stopwatch cannot be 100% accurate as it is manual and is controlled by a person. Also the person viewing the reaction could have made the mistake as the human eye can also make errors. If we had the equipment, we could remove the human eye errors by using light sensors to detect when the black cross is no longer visible. This can be used in conjunction with a timer, for example the conical flask could be connected to a light detector and a timer. The light sensors will detect when there is no light shining through the substance, this will automatically stop the timer, therefore this will give me a better and more accurate result also this will make it a fairer test to time the reaction as they can be 100% accurate and not have to got through 2 people, one co-ordinating and the other timing, which can affect the experiment. We could have made our experiment even more accurate by doing various things such as spending more time doing the experiment. This is because then we wouldn't be racing against the time factor and would have been able to take our time to measure out the solutions as accurately as possible and not measure too less or measure out too much in a hurry, which may disturb the pattern in our results. If I were to do this experiment again, I would spend more time doing the experiment and make sure all the solutions are measured out as accurately as possible before the experiment. I would also use a light sensor to measure the rates of the reactions because this would make our results 100 % accurate and we would be able to see the pattern of the affect clearly. ...read more.

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