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Investigating how the concentration of reactants affects the rate of reaction.

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Chemistry Coursework This experiment is aimed at investigating how the concentration of reactants affects the rate of reaction: The reaction between hydrochloric acid and magnesium will be used to investigate how different concentrations of the acid affect the rate of reaction. The gas produced from the reaction will be measured and used to display the average rate of reaction. The rate of reaction is a measure of how fast a reaction is going and how long it takes to complete. This rate 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. For this reaction, the product will be measured, as this substance is the easiest and most accurate to measure. Scientific Knowledge: A reaction can be stimulated to go faster or slower by varying the temperature, the concentration of reactant and the surface area. For the magnesium and acid particles to react together, they must: i) Collide with each other ii) Have enough energy in the collision. Particles need to collide with enough velocity so that they react. During a chemical reaction, the particles have to collide with enough energy to first break the bonds and then to form the new bonds and the rearranged electrons, so some of the particles do not have enough energy to react when they collide. ...read more.


By using these measurements, the reaction rate is quite fast due to the excess acid. * 24 measurements of the amount of gas produced will be recorded every five seconds for two minutes. * The stopwatch will be used to time every five seconds for the gas measurements, and will be started as soon as the Magnesium is poured into the cylinder of acid in order to get accurate results. * It is important to keep the reactants separate while setting up the apparatus so that the starting time of the reaction can be measured accurately. * Variables: The concentration of hydrochloric acid is the independent variable because it will vary, and the time taken for the rate of reaction to take place is the dependant variable because it depends upon the concentration of acid. The title refers to the concentration affecting the rate of reaction, so only the concentration will change; the mass of magnesium and volume of hydrochloric acid will remain the same. These measurements were chosen because by having a larger volume of acid, the reaction rate is increased because there are more sites for the reaction to occur. Only one variable is being changed so the results will be accurate. ...read more.


As both these prediction were supported by the collision theory, it appears to have been right. However, the prediction for the 0.6M solution was incorrect because it was not based on scientific evidence, only on the calculations. Even though there were half as many acid particles to collide with the magnesium atoms, it does not solely depend on the number of the collision, but the number of successful collisions, to make a reaction take place. (The results from the second experiment were used in order to get a more accurate data collection.) Evaluation: For future experiments, it must be noted that the gas needs to be removed from gas syringe after each test, as this was one of the problems during the investigation. If the excess gas is not removed, the experiment begins and the results are completely out of range. It was felt that this experiment may have been easier with the aid of three people, as this would mean that there were not so many activities fro each person to record or read. In order to get a more accurate result, having recorded the measurements from the experiment, the results should have been averaged, instead of using only one set. For a full conclusion to be confirmed, more tests should have been carried out to provide enough evidence to support the argument. ...read more.

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