Typical rate of reaction experiments

Metals with dilute acid

We can use a gas syringe to measure the reaction of metals with dilute acid. When zinc reacts with hydrochloric acid it produces zinc chloride and hydrogen gas.

We can measure the rate of the reaction by measuring how fast the reaction produces hydrogen. This requires a conical flask and gas syringe.

Zn + HCl → ZnCl2 + H2

Metals with dilute acids

Calcium carbonate with dilute acid

Similarly, when calcium carbonate reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid, it produces carbon dioxide gas. We can measure the rate of the reaction by measuring how fast the reaction produces carbon dioxide. This requires a conical flask and gas syringe.

CaCO3+ HCl → CaCl2 + CO2 + H2O

Calcium carbonate and dilute acid reaction

Catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide decomposes in the presence of a catalyst like manganese dioxide, iron, or copper(II)oxide to produce oxygen and water. We can measure how each catalyst affects the rate of the reaction by measuring how fast it produces oxygen. The same apparatus is used – alternatively you can replace the gas syringe with a measuring cylinder filled with water and inverted in a trough of water.

2H2O2 → O2 + 2H2O

A delivery tube takes gas from a conical flask containing hydrogen peroxide solution and a chosen catalyst into a clamped measuring cylinder placed in a trough of water.

Sodium thiosulfate with acid

Sodium thiosulfate reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid to produce sodium chloride, water, sulfur dioxide and sulfur. The sulfur makes the solution change to opaque and if the conical flask is placed over an X drawn on a piece of paper we can measure the time taken for the X not to be visible when viewed from above.  \frac {1}{time} gives a measure of the rate of the reaction.

Sodium thiosulfate with acid