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Investigate a factor which affects the rates of reaction between magnesium ribbon and hydrochloric acid.

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INVESTIGATING REACTION RATES Aim: To investigate a factor which affects the rates of reaction between magnesium ribbon and hydrochloric acid. Background Knowledge The rate of a chemical reaction is the speed that the reaction takes to finish. For a chemical reaction to take place reagent particles must collide with each other and the collision must have enough energy if a reaction is to take place. This energy is called the activation energy. There are several things that can be done to speed up the reaction, which increase the rate. * Temperature Increasing the temperature increases the energy particles possesses, and so more particles possess the minimum energy (activation energy) and so reaction is faster. * Concentration of acid There are more reactant particles at a higher concentration in a volume. Therefore there is more chance of collision. Dilute solution Concentrated Solution * Surface Area Increasing S.A increasing rate of reaction. This is because smaller particles have a higher total surface area exposed for reaction and therefore more collisions occur, making the rate of reaction faster. Magnesium Ribbon Powdered Magnesium * Catalysts they provide a different pathway with a lower activation and so the reaction speeds up the reaction without being chemically changed itself. The diagram above shows the energy level diagram for a reaction both with and without a catalyst. ...read more.


I filled the 250ml beakers, one with the acid and one with distilled water, and brought it to my desk, this prevented me from having to go back and forth across the class to collect more. Method 1. Collect all the apparatus in the list above. 2. Put on your safety goggles 3. Collect 64cm of Magnesium ribbon and using scissors cut it into 16 separate pieces, each measuring 4cm long. 4. Pour the acid and water into the separate 250ml beaker and bring it over to your desk. 5. Then measure out 50cm3 of acid use the 25ml measuring cylinder (using it twice) and pour this into the 50ml beaker. 6. Drop the 4cm strip of magnesium into the beaker and immediately start the stopwatch. 7. Hold the ribbon under the surface of the acid with the stirring rod, as to increase the surface area in contact with the acid, until dissolved. 8. As soon as the magnesium dissolved, stop the stopwatch and record the time in your results table. Rinse the beaker. 9. Now measure out 45cm3 of acid, again using the 25ml measuring cylinder (twice, this is so increase the accuracy) and 5cm3 of distilled water (using the second measuring cylinder) and pour both the acid and water into the 50ml beaker again. ...read more.


Evaluation Overall, I think that my experiment went well. The method was simple and easy to follow and I didn't encounter any problems whilst carrying out the experiment. It also proved that my prediction based on my background scientific knowledge was right. Therefore my method does work and give good results. However, as human intervention is involved when starting and stopping the stopwatch my results may not be completely accurate. There are several ways I could change my experiment in order to make it more accurate. For example I could collect the volume of gas given off, or I could have used a burette. However, the best way to increase volume accuracy would be to use a pipette, as it is accurate to 0.02 cm3. I used a wide range of different concentrations and obtained a variety of good results. They all follow the same general trend although I have on anomalous results at 60% concentration of the acid. My results prove that when the concentration of the solution is increased, the rate of reaction is also increased. As I have already mentioned above, another way to carry out the experiment would be to measure the amount of hydrogen gas given off during the reaction. You could do this by following the same method but this time collect the volume of hydrogen gas given off in a gas syringe. Below is a diagram of the new apparatus needed. ...read more.

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