Exploring the Dynamics of Reaction Rates: An Experimental Approach

Categories: Physics


The primary goal of this experiment is to delve into the dynamics influencing reaction rates, focusing on variables such as reactant concentration, catalyst presence, and temperature variations.


Chemical kinetics, a branch of chemistry, scrutinizes the speed at which chemical reactions transpire. This speed, or rate, can be gauged by observing the rate of product formation or the decrease in reactant concentration, often marked by a precipitate formation or a color change. Variables that predominantly affect reaction rates include reactant concentration, catalyst introduction, and temperature adjustments.

This experiment aims to elucidate the impact of these variables using two distinct reactions: the reaction between hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and potassium iodide (KI), and the reaction involving oxalic acid (H2C2O4) with acidified potassium permanganate (KMnO4), with manganese sulphate (MnSO4) acting as a catalyst.


Equipment and Materials

  • Hot water bath
  • Test tubes and a conical flask
  • Measuring cylinders (10cm³ and 50cm³)
  • Chemicals: 1M H2O2, 1M KI, 2M H2SO4, 0.

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    1M KMnO4, 5M H2C2O4, 1M MnSO4, 0.05M Na2S2O3, and starch solution.

Safety Precautions

All participants were equipped with protective gear, including goggles, a lab coat, and suitable footwear, to ensure safety throughout the experiment.

Experimental Procedure

Investigating the Effect of Concentration

  1. A conical flask was prepared with a mixture of KI, H2SO4, Na2S2O3, and a few drops of starch solution.
  2. H2O2 was swiftly added to the mixture, initiating the reaction. The time taken for the appearance of a blue-black color indicated the reaction rate.

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  3. The procedure was repeated with varying concentrations of KI, adjusting the total solution volume to 30cm³ with water before introducing H2O2.

Exploring the Impact of Temperature

  1. A test tube containing KMnO4 and H2SO4 was prepared alongside another with oxalic acid.
  2. Upon mixing these solutions, the reaction commenced, and the time for the KMnO4's purple color to fade was noted.
  3. This process was replicated at different temperatures (40°C, 50°C, and 60°C), with the solutions preheated in a hot water bath to the desired temperatures.

Assessing the Role of Catalysts

  1. The procedure for examining temperature effects was followed, with the addition of MnSO4 to the KMnO4 and H2SO4 mixture before introducing oxalic acid.


The experiment yielded data that underscored the influence of concentration, temperature, and catalyst presence on reaction rates. Notably, increasing the concentration of reactants or the temperature accelerated the reactions, while the introduction of a catalyst significantly enhanced the rate of the oxalic acid and KMnO4 reaction.


The observed phenomena can be attributed to the collision theory and the Arrhenius equation, which link reaction rates to the frequency and energy of colliding particles. An increase in reactant concentration or temperature boosts these collisions' frequency and energy, respectively, thereby hastening the reaction. Meanwhile, catalysts offer an alternative pathway with a lower activation energy, further accelerating the reaction without being consumed.


This experiment offers valuable insights into the factors that modulate chemical reaction rates. It vividly demonstrates how changes in reactant concentration, temperature, and the presence of catalysts can significantly impact the speed of chemical reactions. These findings not only reinforce theoretical principles but also provide a practical understanding of the variables that can be manipulated to control reaction rates in various chemical processes.

Updated: Feb 26, 2024
Cite this page

Exploring the Dynamics of Reaction Rates: An Experimental Approach. (2024, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/document/exploring-the-dynamics-of-reaction-rates-an-experimental-approach

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