Investigating Rates of Reaction

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Investigating Rates of Reaction

The rate of a reaction is the speed of the reaction. It is not "how

much" of a product is made, but instead "how quickly" a reaction takes

place. If we consider a reaction

e.g. zinc + hydrochloric acid -> zinc chloride + hydrogen

Then there are two possible ways of measuring the rate:

1) Measure how quickly one of the products (e.g. the hydrogen) is


2) Measure how quickly one of the reactants (e.g. the zinc)


In this investigation I hope to look at the factors, which affect the

rate of reaction between magnesium ribbon and hydrochloric acid.

The factors I intend to vary are -

· The temperature

· The concentration of hydrochloric acid

[IMAGE]Magnesium + hydrochloric acid Magnesium chloride + hydrogen

[IMAGE]Mg + 2HCL MgCL2 +H2

Fair test

We have to make sure that we use the similar size, amount and the same

mass of magnesium, this is because we want to keep the ribbon the same

all the way through out the experiment so that it will be a fair test

and the results will be related to each other, otherwise the results

will be completely different to what we expect it to be, and it will

ruin the experiment. We need to also use the same volume of

hydrochloric acid throughout the experiment.


Before conducting the experiment we must make a few safety

precautions, for our own health and safety. Being careful and aware

will prevent accidents from happening. Here are a few things we must

make sure we do: Wear goggles to protect the eyes. Avoid spilling the

acid onto your skin as it is corrosive. If it gets in contact with

skin was thoroughly with water and seek medical assistance if



1. Gas syringe

2. Retort stand

3. Magnesium

4. Stopwatch

5. 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5m of hydrochloric acid

6. Measuring cylinder
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