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Investigating the effect of changing temperature on the rate of reaction between Sodium Thiosulphate and Hydrochloric Acid.

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Introduction

Investigating the effect of changing temperature on the rate of reaction between Sodium Thiosulphate and Hydrochloric Acid. By Toni Bull Aim: The aim of this investigation is to find out and observe how temperature affects the rate of reaction. I am going to investigate the changes caused to the solution of hydrochloric acid and sodium thiosulphate when the temperature is changed. Prior Knowledge/Research: The rate of reaction is the speed at which a chemical reaction precedes, expressed in terms of the amount of product formed or the amount of unit's (time taken) for a certain reaction to occur (usually in seconds). The Rate of Reaction varies greatly. Some chemical reactions, such as explosions, happen very quickly while others like rusting, occur very slowly. The rate of reaction can be affected by a number of factors: temperature, concentration and pressure, adding a catalyst, surface area/particle size and light. The one that I am going to be investigating and explaining about is Temperature. Changes in temperature change the kinetic energy of the particles and hence the numbers of successful collisions with enough energy to break existing bonds and make new products. The minimum energy needed for a successful collision is called the activation energy. For a reaction to take place reagent molecules must collide with each other. When they do so, they must possess enough energy to cause or initiate a reaction. The actual energy needed to start a reaction is the activation energy e.g. ...read more.

Middle

When observing the experiment, the changes I saw take place were the tone of the sodium thiosulphate/hydrochloric acid solution. At the initial temperatures, which were quite low, the solution became very foggy and misty but only after a fairly long time. At the higher temperatures, the solution became foggy very quickly and in both cases, the solution continued to get foggy until it was no longer transparent. I could not see through the solution at all. The colour of the solution went from a clear colourless liquid to a yellowish-green colour and at the higher temperatures, the colour changed almost immediately. I did not see any gas given off or any vigorousness in the actual reaction. The change in colour was smooth and there was no sound made when it happened. Fair Test: To make my experiment a fair one, I had to look at a lot of things. Firstly, I looked at the factors that may have affected how well the investigation would work and these were things like using different equipment or doing the actual experiment in different conditions i.e. a colder/hotter environment. To combat this, I made sure that upon repeating the experiment, I used the exact same equipment and done it in the exact same environment to make absolutely sure that the experiment was fair at each temperature. I think that these were both very important factors because they could affect the results severely and leave me with an anomalous when I should only have correlating results. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that I did get a suitable range of results for this experiment. I recorded results from temperatures that ranged from 30�C to 80�C and I think that this is a very good range to see how temperature affects the rate of reaction. However, I feel that this also reduces the chance of knowing if anything changes if the temperature reaches a certain point. Perhaps doing the temperature even higher would enhance my results but this is also quite dangerous so I cannot really say that I could have improved the range of my results, and there would have also been problems with keeping the liquid hot enough, long enough to complete the experiment. Some other areas in the experiment that I feel I could have improved on were factors like controlling the stopwatch and measuring the amount of sodium thiosulphate and hydrochloric acid. There is lots of room for human error here. However the inaccuracies due to them were negligible because I paid close attention to these during the experiment. Overall, this investigation has been a very successful one. I feel my results and analysis have been as accurate and reliable as they could have been under the time allocated. However I feel with extra time, I could have repeated the experiment and made it even more accurate and adapted it to try other variables i.e. concentration or adding a catalyst. These are the ways that I could expand on the original question. ...read more.

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