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Investigation to find out how particle size affects the reaction rate.

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Introduction

Investigation to find out how particle size affects the reaction rate Aim: To find out whether particle size affects the rate of a reaction. The rate of reaction is the speed of the reaction. There are two ways in which the rate of reaction can be measured: o Measure how quickly one of the products in the reaction is made o Measure how quickly one of the products in the reaction disappears Collision theory: The theory that we use to explain how different variables change the rate of reaction is called the collision theory. For a reaction to take place, the particles of the substance that are reacting have to collide. If they collide with enough energy then they react. The minimum amount of kinetic energy that two particles need if they are going to react is called the activation energy. There are therefore two main ways of increasing the rate of reaction: o Increase the number of collisions o Increase the amount of movement (kinetic) energy so that more collisions lead to a reaction. The four main variables that can change the rate of reaction are: o The concentration of the substances reacting o The temperature o The size of the particles o A catalyst being present Prediction: I believe that if a solid reactant or a solid catalyst is broken down into smaller pieces the rate of reaction increases. The speed increase happens because smaller pieces of the same mass of solid have a greater surface area compared to larger pieces of the solid. ...read more.

Middle

20 16 18 40 23 26 29 26 60 33 34 35 34 80 40 39 41 40 100 43 45 44 44 120 47 45 46 46 After collecting my results and finding the overall average I recorded each of the averages onto a graph. This enabled me to compare the correlation between the different particle sizes. From this experiment I hope to see what further improvements could be made to my experiment, for example other factors that affect the rate of reaction which I may not have realised while carrying out my experiment. After analysing my preliminary experiment I can then go on to develop and improve my experiment so that my final set of results are as accurate as possible. My preliminary graph is shown on the following page; Analysis of preliminary graph: From the graph I can see that particle size does affect the rate of reaction. However, my preliminary experiment also showed me some improvements that could be made to make my results more accurate. Firstly, when adding the mixture into the conical flask I need to make sure that it is on a flat surface, this is because that some of the experiments, as I was putting the chemical in, got shaken/ stirred. The rate of reaction can be increased if the movement of the reactants is increased as a result of stirring. This meant that my results where unfair as I was changing more than one variable each time. ...read more.

Conclusion

If I was to do the experiment again there are still some factors of the experiment which I would change. Firstly, I would continue to do the experiment until 200 seconds had passed; this is because on the graph I was unable to see the whole reaction, as I only started to see the reaction slow down towards the very end and never actually got to see the entire curve at the point where it levels out. I would also make sure that all factors were the same such as heat and stirring etc. I could also do the experiment a different way by measuring how quickly one of the products in the experiment disappeared. I would do this by placing the calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid in an open beaker. I would then place the beaker on some scales. As the carbon dioxide gas is produced and escapes into the air the total mass remaining in the beaker will go down. If I measured how much mass is lost in a given time I could work out the rate of reaction. Basing this experiment on my previous experiment I believe the graph would look something like this: In conclusion I now know that the particle size does affect the rate of reaction as the smaller the particle size the larger the surface area is. With a larger surface area more particles are exposed to the other reactant, the reactant particles therefore collide more often and so the rate of reaction increases. ...read more.

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