5 Things That Speed Up a Chemical Reaction

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When doing experiments in a chemistry lab, there is always a time frame that can cause anxiety or frustration while waiting for the results. There are ways to increase the time frame so you can see the results sooner. These are 5 ways to increase the reac

Sometimes when you are performing a chemistry experiment, or any experiment dealing with chemicals, you feel so frustrated that you wish you could magically speed up the reaction rate of the lab, and find out what the results would be. There are actually ways to speed up the reaction rate, and here are five things that speed up the reaction rate of an experiment.

1. The nature of the reactants: Some reactants are better at  reacting together. It just depends on the state of a particular reactant, and it also depends on the complexity of the bonds that you wish to break apart and/or form. If you want to break more bonds, it takes a longer time for the reaction to occur. Also, a reaction between two gases would be faster than a reaction between to liquids or two solids.

2. Temperature: Depending on the temperature of the reactants, the reaction rate will differ. The higher the temperature (or the hotter the reactant is), the quicker the reaction will occur. The cooler the reactant is, the longer it will take for a reaction to take place. The heat causes the particles to move quickly, and due to the Collision Theory, which states that in order for a reaction to occur, molecules must collide, the particles will be more likely to bump into each other, and so the reaction will occur faster.

3. Concentration: The higher the concentration of a reactant, the quicker the reaction will occur. This means that there are more particles of that particular substance, meaning it will collide more frequently into the particles of the other reactant. This increases the reactant rate because the more concentrated a reactant is, it means that the less space there is between the two reactants.

4. Surface Area: Basically, the more particles that are exposed during the experiment, the faster the reaction will occur. The more the particles are exposed, the faster it is for the other reactant to collide into the particles, meaning the reaction rate will increase.

5. Catalysts: Catalysts are substances that increase the rate of reaction by speeding up the reaction without being used up in the reaction. It does not affect the reactants in any other way than making them collide into each other more frequently, and it doesn't affect the product (or products) produced.

These are some of the main ways to increase the rate of a reaction, and will help anyone who is trying to get a lab done quickly. But you want to make sure that if you use a catalyst, you don't use so much, that it will make the reaction occur faster than you can see the results happen.


Ben Frew
Posted on Mar 17, 2015
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