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My aim is to investigate what factors affect the rate of reaction
between magnesium and hydrochloric acid. The factor that I will be
focusing on is the concentration of Hydrochloric acid.
[IMAGE]Reaction Equation: Mg (s) +2HCl (aq) = MgCl2 (aq) +H2 (g)
Magnesium + Hydrochloric Acid = Magnesium Chloride + Hydrogen
There are several different variables you can such as temperature,
concentration; surface area and whether or not to use a catalyst or
not these all affect the rate of reaction.
*The effect of temperature on the rate of reaction is that, if the
temperature is increased then the particles will move faster. This
leads to more collisions. In addition, particles have more kinetic
energy, so more collisions will lead to a reaction.
*The effect of the surface area on the rate of reaction is, when one
of the reactants is a solid, the reaction must take place on the
surface of the solid. By breaking the solid into smaller pieces, the
surface area is increased, giving a greater area for collisions to
take place and so causing an increase in the rate of reaction.
*The effect of using a catalyst on the rate of reaction is that it
will speed up the rate of reaction. Using a catalyst lowers the
activation energy for the reaction. More collisions have sufficient
energy for reactions to take place. A catalyst that slows down a rate
of reaction is called an inhibitor.
*The effect of concentration on the rate of reaction is that, if the
concentration is increased, there are more particles within a given
volume, therefore more collisions occur and the reaction is faster.
The rate of reaction can also be defined, by using the collision
theory. A collision theory explains how chemical reactions take place
and why rates of reaction alter. For a reaction to occur the reactant,
particles must collide.
I am going to investigate how the concentration of hydrochloric acid
alters the rate of reaction. As I increase the amount of water, I
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reaction is shown in the equation, above. This equation shows that a
displacement reaction has taken place.
I predict that if I decrease the concentration of hydrochloric acid,
the rate of reaction will also decrease. I believe this because; if I
decrease the hydrochloric acid in the same 'fixed volume' then the
acid particles are less crowded. This means that there is a lesser
chance of acid particles colliding with magnesium particles. There are
fewer collisions in a certain time and so the rate of reaction
Below is a list of apparatus and chemicals that I am going to use. The
list includes equipment to carry out precise measurements for the
different chemicals that I will be using. The list below shows that I
*Magnesium strip (3cm)
*2 measuring cylinders (50mls)
*1 beaker (100mls)
*Using a ruler and scissors cut out 7 pieces of magnesium ribbon
exactly 3cm in length.
*With one measuring cylinder measure out the amount of hydrochloric
acid needed and pour it into the beaker.
*With the other measuring cylinder measure out the amount of water you
need and add to the hydrochloric acid in the beaker.
*The hydrochloric acid and the water the water together should be
exactly 50mls in volume.
*Drop one piece of magnesium ribbon 3cm in length into the solution in
the beaker and start the stop watch immediately don't forget to wear
*When all the magnesium has dissolved, stop the stop watch and record
*Wash all the measuring cylinders and beakers before you do another
To make sure that the test is fair I will have to make sure that other
factors don't change like:
*The length of the magnesium strip will be kept at 3cm. It is
important to make sure that each strip of magnesium is the same length
and width, as the greater surface area will cause a faster reaction as
there are more particles to collide with.
*The temperature of the acid and the water will be kept at room
temperature. Making sure the reactions happen at the same temperature
is important because if the temperature changes the rate of reaction
will change. At higher temperatures the particles would move faster
causing the particles to collide with each other more often and with
*The total volume of hydrochloric acid and water will be fixed at
50mls. I need to make sure that the same volume for the different
concentrations, otherwise I will not know the change in concentration
Volume of hydrochloric acid (cm3)
Volume of water (cm3)
Time for magnesium to dissolve (s)
Concentration of acid in moles per dm2
Rate of reaction 1÷time (s)
In conclusion, from my results gathered from my table and graph, my
initial prediction was correct, the higher the concentration of the
hydrochloric acid, the faster the reaction. I tried to make the
experiment as fair as possible but I could change a couple of things
that could have improved my results, like using a burette for greater
accuracy when measuring volumes have solution to two decimal places,
also to have achieved even greater results I should have repeated the
experiment at least three times and then taken the average because
then I could ignore any odd results I did get. The curve on my graph
means that it is indirectly proportional because if it was a straight
line it would have been directly proportional which means the rate of
reaction would have doubled every time but mine didn't and I was
surprised to find that, unlike what I thought it would be, the rate of
reaction did not double, triple etc, even if the concentration of acid
in moles doubled e.g. 2.0m took 19.64 seconds whilst 1.0m (half the
amount) took 72.29 seconds.
As I stated above, I believe my experiment was done fairly but changes
could have been made. I could have recorded more of the rates of
reaction so that my results were more accurate. I believe there was a
set pattern all through my results showing that as the concentration
of acid is increased, the rate of reaction also increased. However, I
believe that, even bearing these small problems in mind, the
experiment was done thoroughly and successfully. Other methods which I
could have conducted, which would have helped me support my
conclusion, included: Measuring the temperature of the reactions as it
happens. Measurements could be taken, for example, every 30 seconds.
These results will then be plotted on to a line graph, with each
different mole having different coloured line; this will give a clear
indication to each concentration. These results will tell us how fast
the reaction is happening and how each one differs from the next. Also
the time of the reaction would be recorded in line with each
temperature taken, e.g. 30sec = 10c, 60sec = 12c, and so on.