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How the Concentration of a Solution Affects Rates of Reaction.

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An Investigation to Find: How the Concentration of a Solution Affects Rates of Reaction In this investigation I am going to be investigating the rate of reaction between Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) and Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). There are several factors that affect rates of reaction, and I could investigate any of these. These factors are: * Surface Area * Concentration * Temperature * Affects from Catalysts Surface Area: The rate of reaction is affected by the surface area of what is being reacted; in this case the surface area of the calcium carbonate. If the particles of calcium carbonate have a greater surface area (i.e. using many small particles rather a large chunk) the reaction time will decrease; and larger particles would take longer to react. This can be explained using the collision theory. For the reaction between hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate to occur, the particles in the chemicals must collide with each other. The more the collisions occur, the faster the reaction. An object with greater surface area gives a greater number of exposed particles to collide with others. This diagram (taken from the 'Chemistry For You' textbook) shows this: You can also further demonstrate this by putting numbers to it. Imagine having a 1000cm3 block. Each side of the cube will have an area of 100cm2. The total surface area of the cube would be 6*100 = 600cm2. Now let's imagine that I cut this 1000 cm3 into lots of smaller 1 cm3 blocks. I would need exactly 1000/1 = 1000 of these smaller blocks to give me the same volume as the larger block. All of the 1000 smaller blocks have the same volume as the single larger block; however their collective surface area is far greater. Each side of the smaller blocks would have a surface area of 1cm2, and therefore the total surface area of a single small cube would be 6*1 = 6cm2. ...read more.


Before I started this investigation, I did some preliminary work to try and find out what concentrations to time the reaction at, what particle sizes were the best to use, and what amounts of calcium carbonate would be the best to use. Here are the results I got: Concentration of Acid Volume of Solution Size of CaCO3 Particles Amount of CaCO3 Time Taken for Reaction (Molar) (ml) (Large Chunk / Fine Powder) (g) (min) 1 15 Chunk 1.5 Unfinished in Time 1 15 Powder Full Spatula 17 0.5 15 Powder Full Spatula Unfinished in Time 0.05 15 Powder Full Spatula Unfinished in Time I first tried using a 1 molar solution (15 ml) with various particle sizes, to see which particle size would be best suited, as I was planning to include 1 molar as one of the values of measuring the rate of reaction at. My results showed me that it would be best for me to use a powder rather than a chunk or calcium carbonate, as the chunk took too long to react, and was unsuitable for my investigation. I then tried the powder at other concentrations, to see the types of times I would get for the reaction. Each of the reactions at other concentrations took too long, so I can therefore conclude that if I am going to use a calcium carbonate power, I need to either use a lower amount of calcium carbonate, or a larger volume of solution, or both together to increase the speed at which the reactions occur. I have decided to double the volume of the solution to 30ml in the investigation, and to reduce the amount of calcium carbonate to 0.1 grams. In this investigation, I will be using the following apparatus: * * Accurate Digital Scales * 12 Boiling Tubes * Calcium Carbonate * 1 molar solution of Hydrochloric Acid * 50ml Measuring Cylinder * Mortar * Pestle * 2 Spatulas * Stopwatch * Test/Boiling Tube Rack * Water. ...read more.


Also, it was extremely difficult to get the particles of calcium carbonate the same size after grinding them, and this probably affected the results. The amount of hydrochloric acid was also probably inaccurate due to human error, and some drips of the liquid could have been left in the measuring cylinder, which would lower the level by a few millilitres. Another difficulty was getting the proportions of water to hydrochloric acid correct, which was once again probably human error. I could not control temperature due to a lack of resources; I had no equipment available that I could use to keep the temperature constant. Due to these difficulties, I would estimate that my results were reasonably accurate, perhaps about 70%, based on how well they fitted with the line of best fit. They are no lower than 50%, as they do show a pattern, and I could draw a curved line from them, however most were not very consistent with each other, and this could affect the averages. There are ways in which I could amend some of these difficulties, if I had the ability to do so. I could try and get the correct amount of calcium carbonate by restricting the amount of movement in the room I was working in, and making sure all windows, doors and similar were closed. I would also have to make sure I directed my breath away from the calcium carbonate, as the light powder could easily be blown away. I would also need to have an accurate way of distributing the powder onto the spatula on the scales. The method I used proved to be fairly inaccurate, and some of the powder was spilled onto the scales, and not onto the spatula. This could not only have affected that weighing, however a build up of powder on the scales could have affected all results. I did try to combat this problem, however, by tearing the weight on the scales before I began adding the powder each time. Andrew Lyons GCSE Chemistry Investigation ...read more.

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