C2.4 Rates of Reaction


C2.4.1 Rates of Reaction

The rate of reaction can be found by measuring:

  • The amount of reactant used over time or
  • The amount of product made over time

For a reaction to happen:

  • Reactant particles must collide with each others
  • The collision must have enough energy (activation energy)
    • A successful collision has enough energy for a reaction to happen
      • The greater the rate of successful collisions, the greater the rate of reaction
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C2.4.1 Increasing Rates of Reaction


  • Surface area of solid reactants (using powder or smaller pieces), concentration of reactants in solutions, and pressure of reacting gases:
    • Increases frequency of collisions
    • So increases the rate of reaction
  • Temperature
    • Increases frequency of collisions
    • AND more of the particles have the activation energy or more (particles move more energetically)
    • So increases the rate of reaction


  • Change the rate of chemical reactions
  • Are not used up during the reaction
  • Specific to different reactions
  • Catalysts are used in industry to increase rates of chemical reactions and reduce costs
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