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Reaction of magnesium with sulphuric acid

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Introduction

Reaction of magnesium with sulphuric acid When energy in the form of heat is given out of a reaction it is an exothermic reaction. Exothermic reactions usually need activation energy, the energy to break the bonds in the chemicals and to start the reaction. Once the bonds are broken new stronger bonds are formed. In an exothermic reaction energy in the form so heat is given out to the surrounding when the products are formed. Therefore there is an average rise in temperature; energy is lost which results in a negative ?H. There are many variables which can be changed in some way to effect the reaction, some of which are listed below:- Volume of Sulphuric Acid Concentration of Sulphuric Acid Initial temperature of Sulphuric Acid Motion of liquid (speed of stirring) Amount and size of magnesium Purity of magnesium The extent of oxidation on the surface of the magnesium Addition of Catalysts Size of Container Temperature of surrounding environment Pressure at which reaction is conducted Insulation of the test-tube Height of thermometer above the base of the test-tube In solutions of higher concentration, particles are closer together. ...read more.

Middle

Adding extra catalyst will make absolutely no difference. There are two ways in which catalysts work. When two different molecules bump into each other, they might react to make new chemicals. We usually talk about "collisions" between molecules; it would be much simpler to say that the molecules bumped into each other. How fast a chemical reaction is depends upon how frequently the molecules collide. You have probably been told about the "kinetic theory" which is all about heat and how fast molecules move around. What catalysts are doing when they make a chemical reaction go faster is to increase the chance of molecules colliding. How does concentration affect the rate of a reaction? Increasing the concentration of the reactants will increase the frequency of collisions between the two reactants. So this is collision theory again. Kinetic theory is relevant. This is because the molecules in the reaction mixture have a range of energy levels. ...read more.

Conclusion

So the larger the surface area of the solid, the faster the reaction will be. Smaller particles have a bigger surface area than larger particle for the same mass of solid. There is a simple way to visualize this. Take a loaf of bread and cut it into slices. Each time you cut a new slice, you get an extra surface onto which you can spread butter and jam. The thinner you cut the slices, the more slices you get and so the more butter and jam you can put on them. This is "Bread and Butter Theory". By chewing your food you increase the surface area so that digestion can go faster. What effect does insulating the experiment have on the rate of reaction? Insulating the experiment prevents heat loss therefore it keeps more energy within the experiment having the same effect as raising the temperature of the experiment. At higher temperatures, particles are moving faster, so there are more collisions. Also (and more importantly), the collisions are more energetic. More collisions have an energy greater than the activation energy, so the reaction is faster. ...read more.

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