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INVESTIGATION INTO THE REACTION RATE BETWEEN MAGNESIUM AND HYDROCHLORIC ACID Joseph Colledge Contents Page(s) Introduction 1 Method 2 Results Tables 3 Graphs 4-13 Description of Results 14 Discussion 15-16 References 17 Introduction An underlying principle on which all of the sciences of kinetics are built is the law of mass action which states that the rate of a chemical reaction (which is basically how fast the speed is of a reaction, not how much product is made) is proportional to the active masses of the reacting substances. Due to the complications in measuring active mass it is much easier to dilute the solutions as then the active mass can be replaced by the concentrations. This principle means that the rate of a chemical reaction is, therefore, proportional to the concentrations of the various reactants. The concentration of a solution can be seen as how strong the solution is, for example if we consider the reaction between Magnesium and Hydrochloric acid: Mg + 2HCL --> MgCl2 + H2 The stronger an acid the more acid particles and less water particles than a weaker acid, so increasing the concentration of a solution works on this same principle in that it increases the chances of collisions occurring between the two reactants. ...read more.


As hypothesised originally, the table shows a direct correlation between the amounts of Mg placed into the 2.0M HCL and the amount of H2 produced. In the columns for 2cm and 3cm of Mg it can be seen that there is a gradual increase in the amount of Hydrogen produced. Whereas in the columns for 4cm, 5cm and 6cm there is a large increase with the amount of Hydrogen produced even at 5 seconds is double the amount produced with the 2cm and 3cm of Mg. Table 2 shows the levels of Hydrogen produced when the amount of Mg remains a constant (at 4cm) whilst the concentration of the HCL is diluted as described in the method. The results as shown in table 2 corroborate with the hypothesis also, in that as the level of molarity in the hydrochloric acid decreases so does the amount of hydrogen which is produced. This is shown in table 2 as at 2M the reaction is producing large amount of hydrogen whereas when studying the amounts which are produced from the 1.6, 1.2, 0.8 and 0.4 dilutions you can see massive reductions in the amount of hydrogen produced so much so that when the dilution is at 0.4 there is barely any hydrogen produced at all. ...read more.


One of the most obvious places where error could occur is in the dilutions of the hydrochloric acid in the second part of the experiment as due to the very nature of dilutions it makes it possible for human errors to creep into the results. To improve on the results I would recommend completing each section of the experiment at least twice and comparing the results of each, or if that wasn't possible to pool the results of all the groups and take an average of them all. Also it may be prudent to use distilled water for the dilutions, as using water directly from the tap may change the pH to a greater level than is required for the experiment. Also I believe that the positioning of where the experiment was being carried out would have a direct result on the results found as the intensity of the light is a lot more obviously a lot more intense at the window whereas it is more subdued at the other side of the laboratory. In conclusion, the results of the experiment clearly concurred with the hypothesis in the introduction in that basically the concentration of the reactants in the experiment has a direct influence on the products given off. ...read more.

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