Rate of Reaction Introduction Notes

Niamh Ryan
Note by , created almost 2 years ago

Beginning our series on Rate of Reaction Chemistry guides, this study note introduces the factors which affect rate of reaction, uses the Collision theory to explain Rate of Reaction and explore the role of catalysts.

Niamh Ryan
Created by Niamh Ryan almost 2 years ago
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Page 1

Using Collision Theory to Explain Rate of Reaction

A chemical reaction occurs when two or more molecules collide Not all collisions results in a reaction For a reaction to result in a collision, it must have sufficient energy, known as the activation energy

The number of collisions that have sufficient energy for a reaction to take place is a small fraction of the overall number of collisions Increasing how often these successful collisions take place increases the rate of reaction

Page 2

Factors which affect the rate of reaction

1. Temperature 2. Pressure 3. Presence of catalysts 4. Surface area to volume ratio of reactants 5. Concentration

Page 3


Catalyst: A substance that changes the rate of reaction but emerges chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction   Catalysts can speed up or slow down the rate of reaction The catalyst does not change the overall energy change.  However, since less energy is needed to start the reaction, more reactant molecules have enough energy and so more collisions are successful.   Examples of catalysts in everyday life: Catalytic converters in car exhausts use platinum and palladium.  They lower the activation energy needed to convert harmful gases to harmless gases Enzymes are large complex protein molecules that act as catalysts in a biological reaction.  Alcoholic drinks are produced using an enzyme called yeast   Each enzyme molecule has a part with a specific shape called the active site The reactant molecules (substrates) fit the shape of the active sit, a bit like a lock and key Therefore each enzyme catalyses only one reaction and we say that enzymes are specific Enzymes are sensitive to changes in temperature and pH as these can denature their molecules (make them change shape)