Rates of reaction

Essay by morgancHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 1996

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An excellent project, very perceptive -


What affects the rate of reaction?

1) The surface area of the magnesium.

2) The temperature of the reaction.

3) Concentration of the hydrochloric acid.

4) Presence of a catalyst.

In the experiment we use hydrochloric acid which reacts with the

magnesium to form magnesium chloride. The hydrogen ions give

hydrochloric acid its acidic properties, so that all solutions of

hydrogen chloride and water have a sour taste; corrode active metals,

forming metal chlorides and hydrogen; turn litmus red; neutralise

alkalis; and react with salts of weak acids, forming chlorides and the

weak acids.

Magnesium, symbol Mg, silvery white metallic element that is

relatively unreactive. In group 2 (or IIa) of the periodic table,

magnesium is one of the alkaline earth metals. The atomic number of

magnesium is 12.

Magnesium(s) + Hydrochloric acid(aq) = Magnesium Chloride(aq) +


Mg + 2HCl = MgCl2

+ H2

In the reaction when the magnesium hits the acid when dropped in,

it fisses and then disappears giving of hydrogen as it fisses and it

leaves behind a solution of hydrogen chloride.

The activation energy of a particle is increased with heat. The

particles which have to have the activation energy are those particles

which are moving, in the case of magnesium and hydrochloric acid, it is

the hydrochloric acid particles which have to have the activation energy

because they are the ones that are moving and bombarding the magnesium

particles to produce magnesium chloride.

The rate at which all reactions happen are different. An example

of a fast reaction is an explosion, and an example of a slow reaction is


In any reaction,

reactants chemical reactions® products.

We can measure reactions in two ways:

1) Continuous:- Start the experiment and watch it happen;...