<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Experiment : measuring reaction rates


To measure the effect of concentration on the rate of a reaction.


  • 300 cm 3 of sodium thiosulphate (Na 2 S 2 O 3 ) solution. Prepare a solution of sodium thiosulphate by adding 12 g of Na 2 S 2 O 3 to 300 cm 3 of water. This is solution 'A'.
  • 300 cm 3 of water
  • 100 cm 3 of 1:10 dilute hydrochloric acid. This is solution 'B'.
  • Six 100 cm 3 glass beakers
  • Measuring cylinders
  • Paper and marking pen
  • Stopwatch or timer


One way to measure the rate of this reaction is to place a piece of paper with a cross underneath the reaction beaker to see how quickly the cross is made invisible by the formation of the sulfur precipitate.

  1. Set up six beakers on a flat surface and mark them from 1 to 6. Under each beaker you will need to place a piece of paper with a large black cross.
  2. Pour 60 cm 3 solution A into the first beaker and add 20 cm 3 of water
  3. Use the measuring cylinder to measure 10 cm 3 HCl. Now add this HCl to the solution that is already in the first beaker (NB: Make sure that you always clean out the measuring cylinder you have used before using it for another chemical).
  4. Using a stopwatch with seconds, record the time it takes for the precipitate that forms to block out the cross.
  5. Now measure 50 cm 3 of solution A into the second beaker and add 30 cm 3 of water. To this second beaker, add 10 cm 3 HCl, time the reaction and record the results as you did before.
  6. Continue the experiment by diluting solution A as shown below.
Beaker Solution A (cm 3 ) Water (cm 3 ) Solution B (cm 3 ) Time (s)
1 60 20 10
2 50 30 10
3 40 40 10
4 30 50 10
5 20 60 10
6 10 70 10

The equation for the reaction between sodium thiosulphate and hydrochloric acid is:

N a 2 S 2 O 3 ( a q ) + 2 H C l ( a q ) 2 N a C l ( a q ) + S O 2 ( a q ) + H 2 O ( l ) + S ( s )


  • Calculate the reaction rate in each beaker. This can be done using the following equation:
    R a t e o f r e a c t i o n = 1 t i m e
  • Represent your results on a graph. Concentration will be on the x-axis and reaction rate on the y-axis. Note that the original volume of Na 2 S 2 O 3 can be used as a measure of concentration.
  • Why was it important to keep the volume of HCl constant?
  • Describe the relationship between concentration and reaction rate.


The rate of the reaction is fastest when the concentration of the reactants was the highest.

Mechanism of reaction and catalysis

Earlier it was mentioned that it is the collision of particles that causes reactions to occur and that only some of these collisions are 'successful'. This is because the reactant particles have a wide range of kinetic energy, and only a small fraction of the particles will have enough energy to actually break bonds so that a chemical reaction can take place. The minimum energy that is needed for a reaction to take place is called the activation energy . For more information on the energy of reactions, refer to Grade 11.

Activation energy

The energy that is needed to break the bonds in reactant molecules so that a chemical reaction can proceed.

Even at a fixed temperature, the energy of the particles varies, meaning that only some of them will have enough energy to be part of the chemical reaction, depending on the activation energy for that reaction. This is shown in [link] . Increasing the reaction temperature has the effect of increasing the number of particles with enough energy to take part in the reaction, and so the reaction rate increases.

Questions & Answers

what does the word emitted mean?
Mwinga Reply
to be ejected or released
Ok thanks
what are the hooke laws
Tyriek Reply
what do really asked in exam
Leiyo Reply
hi please help me how to balance redox reactions?
Brian Reply
Which equation do u wanna balance
i tried to write it but my phone just can't write it Cr2 O72-(aq) + H2S (aq) Cr3 (aq) + S(s)
show is the equation
hello. what is the difference between a primary, secondary and tertiary alcohol
Thokozani Reply
primary the C=bonded to 1 Carbon atom.... secondary=bonded to 2 carbon atoms tertiary=bonded to 3 carbon atoms
I hope you're answered
thanks Christina
My pleasure
Thank you Christina. This is very helpful 😀👍👍💯
Anytime Thokozani
How to calculate pH?
thank you guys i didn't know about the primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols
thank you Christina
Hey guys which topic does AC nd DC generator falls
thank you
can somebody help me with functional isomers
Baningi Reply
function isomer has the same molecular formula but different functional group
what's momentum
Luvelo Reply
the product of an objects mass times velocity. it is mainly prevalent in collisions.
in order to produce an interference pattern, the waves used must be what?
Methane contains C and H. This compound is
Juan Reply
ketones's functional group
Moloi Reply
Why does the carboxyl group have acidc properties?
Evi Reply
carboxylic acids
Besides improving appearance what is another reason why medal is electro plated
Elizabeth Reply
it is made of metal
what is different between Dependent variable and independent variables
difference between A.c and D.c
AC has slip rings DC has split rings commutator
to avoid rust and to improve strength and conductivity
the variable whose value doesn't depend on other is known as independent variable ex time
are UV rays dangerous?
Khathutshelo Reply
what's this?
if there is extensive exposure, it can lead to skin cancer
yes depend upon their intensity
i hv a problem with this chapter because i also have problem with Newton's laws of motion
Kearabetswe Reply
I have a problem with calculation in Newton's law of motion
me also VuyokAzi
what's the question
Which area in particular?
just get the hang if free body diagrams,know the directions.
I know how to draw free diagram I have a problem with calculation in second law
what is the wave model of atom ?
Trazy Reply
guys what is momentum
@Luvelo... Momentum is the product of an object's mass and its velocity.
the model based on wave nature of electron
Can you state the Doppler effect in words
Nombuyiselo Reply
State Coulomb's law in words
the magnitude of the electrostatic force exerted point on each other is directly proportional to the product on magnitude of charges and inversely proportional to the square distance between them
the change in frequency of the sound detected by a listener because sound source and listener have different velocity

Get the best Siyavula textbooks: gr... course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science' conversation and receive update notifications?