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Factors Affecting Rates of Reaction Lab Report

Dan H, Johnson T. October 2

, 2014

To observe the effect of surface area and catalysts on the rate of chemical reactions.
I predict that an increase in surface area will increase the reaction rate.
I predict that using a catalyst will increase the reaction rate and speed up the reaction.
Apparatus and Materials
Marble chips (calcium carbonate)
Mortar and pestle
6.0 M hydrochloric acid
(2) 10 mL graduated cylinders
5 test tubes
2 test tube clamps
Test tube rack
Mossy zinc
1.0 M hydrochloric acid
Copper turnings
1.0 M copper (II) sulfate

Data Tables:
Table 1: The effect of surface area on the reaction rate of marble
Substance Observations
Powdered marble

Powdered Marbles reaction rate was faster
than the whole marble chip and as a result
produced gas faster (bubbling occurs faster)
Whole Marble chip

Whole Marble chip reaction rate was slower
because only the exterior of the chip was in
contact with the solute resulting in slower
gas produced (bubbling occurs slower)

Table 2: The effect of a catalyst on the zinc reaction
Substances Observations
Zinc + acid

Produced gas at a steady rate as the acid
dissolves the Zinc (bubbling occurs)
Zinc + acid + copper

With the Copper strand in contact with the
zinc, there is a slight noticeable increase in its
reaction rate (bubbling occurs faster)
Zinc + acid + copper (II) sulfate

With the Copper (II) sulfate in contact with
the zinc and acid, it resulted with the stop of
gas produced and altered the colour of zincs
exterior (change in colour, no bubbling)

1. Write a balanced equation for the reaction of zinc with hydrochloric acid.
2. Describe the effect of particle size on the rate of a reaction.
3. Define catalyst.
4. Which of the substances (copper turnings or copper (II) sulfate) acted as a better
catalyst? Explain your reasoning.
5. Did your hypothesis agree with your results? Explain.
6. List two other factors (not from this lab) that affect reaction rate.

1a. Zn + 2HCl -> ZnCl
+ H

2a. As particle size decreases, surface area increases because it is able to make more contact
with the reactants. A higher surface area results in a faster reaction rate.

3a. A catalyst is a substance that increases the reaction rate of a chemical reaction without changing

4a. The copper turnings acted as a better catalyst because the copper (II) sulfate was presumably an
inhibitor halting the reaction between zinc and acid and creating a different chemical reaction, while on
the other hand copper turnings accelerated the intended chemical reaction rate.

5a. My hypothesis of both surface area and catalysts increasing the reaction rate of chemical reactions
agree with my results. The copper turnings worked as a catalyst and increased the reaction rate;
however the copper (II) sulfate did not act as a proper catalyst. The powdered marble chip when
compared to the whole marble chip reacted much faster, showing that surface area increases reaction

6a. Two other factors that were not present in this lab that also affect reaction rate could be:
Pressure (gas)