There are a number of ways to investigate the rate of a reaction in Chemistry. This is an outline of the required steps to undertake one of these methods. It is important in this core practical to use appropriate apparatus to make and record a range of measurements accurately, including mass, time, temperature and volume.
To investigate the effect of changing the temperature on the rate of a reaction.
Sodium thiosulfate solution reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid:
Sodium thiosulfate + hydrochloric acid → sodium chloride + water + sulfur dioxide + sulfur
Na2S2O3(s) + 2HCl(aq) → 2NaCl(aq) + H2O(l) + SO2(g) + S(s)
The sulfur forms a cloudy yellow-white precipitate during the reaction. The time taken for this to achieve a given cloudiness provides a way to measure the reaction time.
Record the results in a table. This table gives some example results.
|Temperature (°C)||Reaction time (s)||Rate (/s)|
Describe the effect of increasing the temperature of the reaction mixture on the rate of reaction. Use the graph to help.
The rate of reaction increases as the temperature increases. The rate increases by a greater amount at higher temperatures.
Suggest a reason why the same person should look at the black cross each time.
Different people may decide that they cannot see the cross at different amounts of cloudiness, leading to errors in deciding when to take the reaction time.
Evaluate the hazards and the precautions needed to reduce the risk of harm. For example:
|Hot sodium thiosulfate solution||Burns to the skin||Do not heat above 60°C|
|Sulfur dioxide||Can cause irritation to the eyes and lungs, particularly to people with asthma||Make sure the laboratory is well ventilated and avoid breathing directly over the top of the flask|