Friday, June 17, 2011

The Effect of Temperature on Reaction Speed

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The aim of this investigation is to find out and observe how temperature affects the rate of reaction. I am going to investigate the changes caused to the solution of hydrochloric acid and citric acid when the temperature is changed.

Scientific Explanation

The two theories that affect temperature and the rate of reaction are the kinetic theory and the collision theory. The kinetic theory clearly states that the positioning and movement of particles in a substance increases if the temperature increases. Therefore, increasing the temperature increases the energy between the particles and makes them move around a lot more and collide more often with each particle colliding with enough energy to get it past the energy barrier. If this is done successfully, then the collisions should have no problem passing the requirement stated in the collision theory that are To react particles must collide with enough energy to break existing bonds and with the correct orientation to bring reactive sites close together.

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Bringing the reactive sites closer together means that the likelihood of a reaction occurring is increased so in a final conclusion, increasing the temperature increases the rate of reaction speed.


The plan is to heat some water with a kettle and keep it hot until its got to the right temperature that I will use to get the acid at the right temperature. When Citric Acid reacts with hydrochloric acid a precipitate of citric is formed which makes the reacting mixture go cloudy yellow. The time taken for the cross-marked on the paper to become invisible can be used to measure the reaction rate. Firstly, Ill measured 0cm of the hydrochloric acid solution using the conical flask. The appropriate temperature will be checked using the thermometer. It will be at this point where I will carry out the various temperatures.

At the appropriate temperature, 5cm of citric acid will be measured using the measuring cylinders and then added to the flask containing the hydrochloric acid. I will then placed the flask over the paper, which will have a black cross on it that I will have drawn earlier.

The stop clock will be started immediately to make the results more accurate and the time in seconds for the cross to disappear will be recorded in a table. I will repeat each temperature a total of times to make my results accurate and calculate an average.

Fair Test

To make my experiment a fair one, I had to look at a lot of things. Firstly, I looked at the factors that may have affected how well the investigation would work and these were things like using different equipment or doing the actual experiment in different conditions i.e. a colder/hotter environment. To combat this, I made sure that upon repeating the experiment, I used the exact same equipment and done it in the exact same environment to make absolutely sure that the experiment was fair at each temperature.

I think that these were both very important factors because they could affect the results and leave me with an anomalous result when I should only have correlating results. To ensure fair and accurate results, all of the factors that can affect my results need to be controlled.

To make my results reliable I will make sure that each temperature is calculated to as accurate it can be as recording a result past the required temperature can mean unreliable results which makes the entire investigation void as one result is not calculated correctly.

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