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Last updated: February 19, 2019

Writing (Kinetics) Q. Write an essay on factors which affect the rate of reactions and discuss the uses of kinetic studies. Outlines: (I)Factors affecting the Rate of Reaction (a)temperature —-collision of molecules with different velocities and kinetic energies —-Collision Theory and Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution —-Arrhenius equation and Activation energy (b)concentration —-frequency of collisions and effective collisions (c)pressure —-for reaction involving gases only (solids and liquids are not compressible) —frequency of collisions and effective collisions (d)surface area —-state of subdivision and the area of contact opened to reactant molecules (e)light —-e. g. photosynthesis and formation of silver salts on photographic film (f)catalyst —-definition of catalyst —-providing new reaction pathway with lower activation energy —-effect shown by Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution (II)Uses of Kinetic Studies —optimization of industrial production of chemicals (max. yield, min.

raw materials, min. fuel and shortest time) –strategy of slowing down some undesirable reactions (e. g. rusting, deterioration of food) —archaeological investigations (e. g. carbon-14 dating) —understanding of reaction mechanisms (e. g. SN2) ~ Sample Essay ~ Chemical kinetics is the studies of the rates of chemical reactions and the factors affect them.

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Chemical reactions proceed at a rate which is influenced by a number of factors depending on the experimental conditions. In this essay, a brief review on these factors and the applications of kinetic studies will be presented. TemperatureThe most well-known method to make reactions go faster is to heat the reactants. Reactant particles are moving at different velocities, some collision between them are high-energy ones (effective collision) while others are low-energy ones. It is found that only a small fraction of particles has a certain minimum amount of energy, known as activation energy (EA), for them to collide with each other to form products. An increase in temperature increases the number of reactant particles having an energy greater than the EA, thus producing some fruitful collisions.As shown in the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution above, when temperature is raised, the fraction of collisions with the required activation energy increases dramatically. Therefore, more molecules will take part in reaction and the rate of reaction will significantly speed up.

In fact, the fraction of effective collisions increases exponentially with temperature, as shown by the Arrhenius equation: k = A exp([pic]) where k is the rate constant of the reaction, A is Arrhenius factor, R is the universal gas constant and T is the absolute temperature of the reaction mixture.Concentration Many chemical reactions take place in solution, and the concentration of reactant may affect the speed of reaction. According to the Collision Theory, frequency of collisions increases with increasing concentration, and higher collision frequency leads to a higher chance of a collision having sufficient energy for a reaction to occur.

Hence, the rate of reaction generally increases with the concentration of reactant(s). Pressure For reactions involving gases, increasing pressure usually speed up the reaction rate.If the pressure of the gases is increased by compression, molecules are pushed closer together. Consequently, the concentration of gases increases, i. e. the molecules collide more frequently and react more rapidly. Again, the rate of gaseous reaction increases.

However, it is noticeable that pressure has little effect on the reaction involving solids and liquids, because they are not compressible. Surface Area of Reactant In gaseous reactions or reactions taking place in solution, the reactants occur in their state of maximum “subdivision” (i. e. as individual particles).On the other hand, when a liquid or gas reacts with a solid, the state of subdivision affects the reaction rate. Hence, it is a convenient to speed up the reaction by increasing the subdivision of solid.

The more the subdivision of a solid, the greater the surface area of contact opened to the reactant molecules. This leads to an increase in the rate of reaction. This explains why the powdered marble reacts with hydrochloric acid much readily than marble chips. Light Apart from heat, light is another form of energy that speeds up chemical reactions.

A typical example is photosynthesis, the reaction by which green plants synthesize sugars under sunlight. Additionally, the formation of silver salts that take place when a photographic film is exposed to light is another famous example. Catalyst A catalyst is a substance which increases the speed of a specific reaction without being used up in the reaction. It speeds up the reaction by providing a new mechanism for the reaction. This mechanism has a lower activation energy than the original one, so that more molecules can react at a given temperature. Uses of Kinetic StudiesFrom an industrial point of view, it is always desirable to have maximum amount of products from a minimum amount of raw materials, with using the minimal fuel in the shortest time. Therefore, the principles of kinetic studies undoubtedly plays an important role in the design and optimal working conditions of industrial processes.

In order to achieve fast chemical conversions of reactants into products with high yield, the reaction conditions (temperature, pressure and catalyst, etc. ) should be carefully chosen. Nevertheless, it is important to reduce the rate of reactions in some cases.For example, preservatives are added to canned food to slow down the deterioration rate of food. The rates of corrosion and rusting have always been the concern of society. These undesirable reactions cost millions of dollars each year, not only because of the need to protect iron and steel objects, but also the expenses involved in replacing the rusted articles. In archaeological investigations, kinetic studies are also of importance in dating the age of rocks, fossils and prehistorical remains.

The concentration of decaying radioactive isotopes such as carbon-14 could be measured under such studies.Moreover, kinetic studies provides a invaluable empirical guide for the understanding of reaction mechanism at a molecular level. By considering the order of reaction with respect to different reactants, the detailed sequence in which bond breaking and rearrangement of atoms during a reaction can be speculated. For instance, kinetic studies of the hydrolytic reaction C2H5Br + H2O ( C2H5OH + Br- shows that rate = k[C2H5Br][OH-]. To satisfy with this rate equation, a mechanism could be proposed in which both C2H5Br and OH- are considered to be involved in the rate determining step as well as in the formation of transition state of the reaction.Such a hydrolytic reaction of primary haloalkane is regarded to have a molecularity of two, and is therefore described as a bimolecular second order reaction (bimolecular nucleophilic substitution, SN2). In conclusion, the principles of kinetic studies (e. g.

factors affecting rate of reaction, Arrhenius equation, order of reaction and rate equation, etc. ) together with the theories of chemical equilibria (e. g. Le Chatelier Principle), builds up a strong theoretical ground in the optimization of industrial production of chemicals as well as in the fundamental research on the mechanism of chemical reactions.

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