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ComparingReactionRatesWithMultipleSubstances

Authors:
Ackles,RyanHerzler,JoshRuppel,Matt
Affiliation:
10thGradeChemistryClass,HighTechHighNorthCounty,SanMarcos,CA.

Introduction
Theexperimentdonebyapartnershipofstudentsprovidesanaccuratecomparisonofhowfour
specificsubstancesreactwhenputtogetherinvaryingquantities.TheCollisionTheoryisasetof
evidencebasedideasthatdescribetheprocessofsubstancesreactingwithoneanother.Thistheory,
whichpreciselyinvolveschemicalreactions,statesthatinorderforchemicalstocollide,theyhavetohit
oneanotherinanexactposition/orientation.Ahydrogenchloridemolecule,forexample,canonlyhitthe
center
ofadoublecarbonbondforthetwosubstancestocreateareaction,whetherthatreaction
noticeableornot.Secondly,thetwospeciesmusthavetherightamountofenergy(heat,speed,force,
etc.).

Theminimumquantityofenergynecessaryfortwospecificspeciestoreactwithoneanotheris
calledtheactivationenergy.Tosumupbothoftheseideas,chemicalreactionsoccurwhentwo
moleculesarecloseenoughtoeachother,hiteachotherinanexact,specificorientation,andhavethe
activationenergy(oranenergylevelthatishigher).1TheCollisionTheoryalsoexpressesthatthemore
moleculesthatexistinagivenspace,thequickerandmorelikelyareactionwilltranspire.The
probabilityishigherfortwomoleculestomeetinaspaceoccupiedbyonethousandmoleculesthanina
spaceoccupiedbyjusttenmoleculesduetothespeedatwhichmostofthesubstancestravelat.
Therefore,thereismoreofanopportunitythattwomoleculeshitoneanotherintherightplacewiththe
correctamountofenergy.

Withanincreaseintemperature,areactionisalsomorelikelytooccurbecausethisenergyboost
causesthespeedymoleculestojumparoundmoreandcollidewithoneanother.Theoppositegoesfor
moleculeswhentheyarepositionedincoldtemperatures.Agreaterconcentration(moreofsomethingin
amolecule)alsoleadstoagreaterlikelihoodthattwosubstanceswillcombine.Finally,araisein
pressurecausesthemoleculestomoveclosetooneanother,improvingthechancesthatachemical
reactionwillhappen.2 Additionally,
thespeedofachemicalreactionmaybedefinedasthechangein
concentrationofasubstancedividedbythetimeintervalduringwhichthischangeisobserved.3 Inthe
testrecentlycarriedout,hydrogenperoxidecombinedwithtwonegativelychargediodineatomsandtwo
positivelychargedhydrogenatomscreatesaniodinemoleculeinadditiontofourwatermolecules.This
iodinemoleculeaddsupwithasixcarbon,eighthydrogen,andsixoxygenmoleculetoimmediately
produceasixcarbon,sixhydrogen,andsixoxygenmolecule,aswellastwonegativelychargediodine
atomsandtwopositivelychargedhydrogenatoms.ThisspecificprocesscontinuesuntilVitaminC(the
AscorbicAcid)runsout.Finally,acombinationofpositiveandnegativelychargediodineatomscreates
starch,whichproducescoloredtoneswithinthebeakerthatrangefromyellowtopurple.Byadjusting

Clark,Jim."AnIntroductiontotheCollisionTheoryinRatesofReaction."
AnIntroductiontotheCollisionTheoryinRatesofReaction
.N.p.,
Oct.2013.Web.15Apr.2016.

"RateofReaction."
Chem4Kids.com:Reactions:RatesofReaction
.AndrewRaderStudios,2016.Web.18Apr.2016.

"ReactionRate."
Chemwiki
.UCDavisChemWiki,02Oct.2013.Web.19Apr.2016.

thehydrogenperoxidetolessthansixtydrops,itwaspredictedthatthereactionwouldtakeplacewithin
fivetosixsecondsofthetwominutemark.4

Experimental
Intheexperiment,AscorbicAcid,PovidoneIodine,HydrogenPeroxide,andStarchwere
combinedintoaglassbeakerandmonitoredtoseehowlongitwouldtakefortheinitiallyclearliquidto
transformintoayellowcolor.Tobegintheexperiment,tendropsofAscorbicAcid,twentyfivedropsof
PovidoneIodine,andfivemillilitersofdistilledwaterwereputinto
BeakerA.

BeakerB
consistedof
sixtydropsofHydrogenPeroxide,tendropsofStarch,andfivemillilitersofdistilledwater.Thecontents
withinthesebeakerswouldbepouredintogetherandobservedtoseeatwhatpointwouldtheycreatethe
bigreaction.Asthecontrolofthisexperiment,thetrialexplainedabovewasjustoneoffourtotaltrials
executedthroughouttheexperiment.

Thisinitialreactiontookjustundertwominutesbeforethemixtureturnedintoitsyellowcolor
(itwouldeventuallytransformfromyellowtoorangetoredandthenviolet).Intheremainingpartsof
thisparticularexperiment,thenumberofHydrogenPeroxidedropswasadjustedtogetatwominute
reactiontime.Throughouttheentireexperiment,thiswastheonlyvariabletheeverchanged.Decreasing
downtotendropsofHydrogenPeroxideinthesecondtrial,thereactiontookalittleoverfourminutes
andaftermovingupthenumberofdropstoonehundredinthethirdpart,theextremereactiontookwell
underthirtyseconds.Inthefinaltrialoftheexperiment,thenumberofHydrogenPeroxidedropswasjust
one(almostasajoke)andtheamountoftimethatelapsedbeforethevisible,yellowreactioncameinto
viewwasmorethantwentyminutes.

ResultsandDiscussion
Thereactiontimefortrialoneoftheexperiment(involvingtendropsofAscorbicAcid,
twentyfivedropsofPovidoneIodine,sixtydropsofHydrogenPeroxide,tendropsofStarch,andten
millilitersofdistilledwater)canbeseeninthedatatablebelow.Thiswasthecontroloftheexperiment
andwhilethisdatacouldhavebeenuseddetermineacombinationthatwouldcausethereactiontimeto
befivetosixsecondswithintwominutes,itwasnotusedinthisway.Becausethequantityofonlyone
ofthefoursubstances(asidefromthedistilledwater)couldbechangedthroughouttheentireexperiment,
thenumberofHydrogenPeroxidedropswastheonlyvaluethatevershifted.Inthenexttrialwhenonly
tendropsofHydrogenPeroxidewereusedandtherestofthedropmeasurementsremainedthesame,it
tookmuchlongerfortheliquidizedformulatoturnintoitsyellowstate.Withthisinmind,itcouldbe
predictedthatinordertoreachthegoalofgettingclosetotwominutes,aboutfiftydropsofHydrogen
Peroxidewouldneedtobeused.Fiftydropsisanumberthatisrelativelyclosetosixty,butstillin
betweentenandsixty.

Whilethisinformationcouldhavebeenusedasanadvantage,thethirdtrialincorporatedone
hundreddropsofHydrogenPeroxide,twotimesmorethantheidealnumberofdrops.Atthispointin
thescientifictest,itcanbeassumedthatcuriositytookcontroloverpurelogic.Nevertheless,one
4

Ruppel,Matt."ChemicalReactionsWithinExperiment."ChemistryClassLecture.HighTechHighNorthCounty10thGradeChemistryClass,
SanMarcos.15Apr.2016.Lecture.

hundreddropsofHydrogenPeroxidewitheveryotheraspectintheexperimentremainingconsistent,the
solutionyellowedataremarkablyfasttime.Andwithtrialthreeinthebooks,itwasreinforcedthatby
addingmoreHydrogenPeroxideintothemix,thetimeofthereactionwoulddecrease.Bythelastlegof
theexperiment,diggingintopotentialreasoningbehindtheobservationswasalargerprioritythangetting
tothatmagicaltwominutemark.Thistime,justonedropofHydrogenPeroxidewasused,meaningthat
thewaittimeforareactionwouldbeverylong.Althoughthedesiredreactiontimewasnotattained
duringtheexperiment,itwasperhapsagreaterlearningexperiencetoplaywiththedataandsimplytake
noteofwhattimeagivensolutionwouldtaketoyellow.Itwasespeciallyinterestingtoviewthese
statisticsonboththehighandlowlevelsofthedropquantityspectrum.Althoughallofthedropcounts
staytrueandareconsistentwiththedatadisplayedbelow,noteverydropwasthesamesize,withsome
dropsbeinglargerthanother.Belowisarepresentationofourexperimentinbothtableandgraphform.

ReactionTime(min:sec)

HydrogenPeroxide(drops)

1:39

60

4:20

10

0:24

100

24:59

ItsobviousthatastheamountofHydrogenPeroxidedropsincreases,thereactiontime
decreases.Butthefreefallinthereactiontimefromonedroptotendropsisabsolutelyastonishing,with
aslopeof10.65(roundedtothenearesttenth).Fromtendropstosixdropstoonehundreddrops(allin
relationtothereactiontime)itisapparentthattheslopeisrelativelysmooth.Nevertheless,theslopeis
curvedasopposedtostraight,meaningthattheriseoverruncombinationisnotconsistentthroughallof

thevaluesdisplayed.Thisexperimenttookplaceoverthecourseoftwodays,witheachofthesubstances
reactingslightlydifferentondaytwothantheydidondayone.Twoofthesetrialswereperformedon
eachofthetwodays.Lastly,theslopebetweenonedropanditsreactiontimeandonehundreddropsand
itsreactiontimeis75.42(roundedtothenearesttenth).

Conclusions
Intheend,itwasproventhatastheamountofHydrogenPeroxideincreases,thereactiontime
decreases.WhileforonehundreddropsofHydrogenPeroxidethereactiontimewas0:24,thereaction
timewas24:59foronedropofHydrogenPeroxide.Thisevidencedemonstratestheimmensepowerof
notonlyindividualmoleculesandatoms,butalsothesmallestelectrons.Withmoredrops,itismore
likelythattwospecificandimportantyetsmallatomswillhiteachothertosparkareaction.Withfewer
drops,thereislesslikelyofachancethatthereactionwillhappenorthereactionwillnothappenfora
verylongtime.Goingbacktowhatwasalreadymentioned,eventhedifferenceinthereactiontimeof
oneandtendropswashuge.Predictingthewaychemicalsbehavealoneoraroundoneanothercanbe
extremelydifficult.Justlikeinmath,itoftentakesatleastthreedatasetstoidentifyaclearpatternin
science.ItwouldbenicetohaveprovenexactlyhowmanydropsofHydrogenPeroxidewouldgivea
reactiontimeoffivetosixsecondswithintwominutes.Fornow,itcanonlybeassumedthatfiftydrops
wouldbetheanswertothisultimategoal.Butthetrueanswertothisunderlyingquestioncanonlybe
solvedthroughexperimentation.

Inadditiontothisobviousfollowupexperiment,itwouldbeinterestingtokeeptheHydrogen
PeroxidelevelsthesamethroughalltrialsandadjustanothersubstancelikePovidoneIodineinsteadorto
adjustbothHydrogenPeroxideandPovidoneIodineatonce.Witheachvariableinvolvedinan
experimentlikethis,itisincreasinglydifficulttomakeanaccuratescientificpredictiongiventhatthe
experimenterwouldbeforcedtocreatetwoseparatepredictionsandforcethemintoonebighypothesis.
AlthoughmoreHydrogenPeroxideresultsinashorterreactiontime,itwouldbeinterestingtoseeexactly
why
thisisthecase.Isittemperature,pressure,orsomethingelse?Asthisexperimentprogresses,could
athermometerbeputintothesolutiontodetermineifthesubstancestemperatureincreasesofdecrease?
Istheiraconcretewaytopredictthelengthorcauseofanyreaction?Theseideasmightnotbeprovenby
scientiststothisdaybutiftheyhavebeen,itwouldbeamazingtodiscovertheanswerstotheseburning
questions(ataskthatwouldmostlikelyinvolvealotofexpensiveequipment).Untilthen,itmightbe
fascinatingtodosomeinternalresearchand/orexperimentationinordertoreallydiveintothistopic.

References
1. Clark,Jim."AnIntroductiontotheCollisionTheoryinRatesofReaction."
AnIntroductiontothe
CollisionTheoryinRatesofReaction
.N.p.,Oct.2013.Web.15Apr.2016.
<http://chemguide.co.uk/physical/basicrates/introduction.html>.

2. "RateofReaction."
Chem4Kids.com:Reactions:RatesofReaction
.AndrewRaderStudios,2016.
Web.18Apr.2016.
<http://www.chem4kids.com/files/react_rates.html>.

3. "ReactionRate."
Chemwiki
.UCDavisChemWiki,02Oct.2013.Web.19Apr.2016.
<http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Core/Physical_Chemistry/Kinetics/Rate_Laws/Reaction_Rate>.

4. Ruppel,Matt."ChemicalReactionsWithinExperiment."ChemistryClassLecture.HighTech
HighNorthCounty10thGradeChemistryClass,SanMarcos.15Apr.2016.Lecture.