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Prove how the concentration of hydrochloric acid affects the rate of reaction.

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Introduction

Planning Aim: To prove how the concentration of hydrochloric acid affects the rate of reaction. Prior Knowledge: I already know that metal carbonates, such as calcium carbonate (marble) react with acids, to emit carbon dioxide gas. One way to measure this sort of reaction would be to measure the amount of the acid, or the calcium carbonate used up by the reaction. However a far simpler way would be to collect and time the volume of carbon dioxide gas produced in a reaction, at regular intervals, thus using prior knowledge of reactions and products, to discover how the concentration of a specific acid (hydrochloric acid) affects the rate of reaction. The impending investigation will be influenced by many factors, which also have an effect on many other experiments: Temperature is one of these factors. As temperature increases, it makes the particles affected move faster and therefore collide more often. This, due to the "collision theory", and it will make the reaction happen more rapidly. Pressure also is a factor in any reactions involving gases. When the pressure is increased, the particles are compressed more and this greatens the number of collisions. This therefore increases the rate of the reaction. The bigger the surface area of a reactant, the faster the rate of reaction. ...read more.

Middle

I did the same experiment two more times, with the same concentration of hydrochloric acid. After each experiment I washed the marble chips with water, to stop the reaction. The next time I did this experiment, I measured out 20cm3 of hydrochloric acid into the conical flask, and then 20cm3 of water. The hydrochloric acid now had 1M of concentration. I repeated the same investigation as before with this concentration of acid three times. Next, I measured 30cm3 of hydrochloric acid and 10cm3 of water into the conical flask and did the experiment three times. In this case, the hydrochloric acid was 1.5M. Finally, I measured out 40cm3 of hydrochloric acid into the conical flask, with no additional water. The concentration of the acid here was 2M. The experiment was carried out three times with this concentration. For each concentration of acid, the same chips were used, however for each new concentration, new chips were used as the surface area of the previous would have changed after three experiments, and this would not have made the experiment fair. An average of the three different sets of results for each experiment was taken, and recorded on a results table. ...read more.

Conclusion

If I were to do the experiment again, there would be some things I would do differently to obtain more accurate results. After adding the water to the acid, I would swirl the conical flask to mix the two substances. This would help the reaction between the marble chips and liquid start more quickly, and there would be no delay. I would also ensure that I had pushed the bung in far enough before starting the stopwatch, as this can be a hindrance to the reaction. From my results, and the trends that I can gather from them I can come to a sensible conclusion. This is that, the time that it takes to produce a set amount of gas is less, when the concentration of the acid used in the reaction is greater. Also, the rate of reaction increases greatly, as the concentration of the acid does. If I want to extend the investigation to justify the results further, I may try using a different acid, such as sulphuric acid, in place of hydrochloric acid. This would show whether the rate of reaction is increased when all acids' concentrations are increased, and prove this to be a general rule, and not just with hydrochloric acid. I may also try different concentrations to see whether it still affects the rate of reaction in the same way. Rob Li Page 1 5/2/2007 ...read more.

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