Sunday, 16 May 2010

another chemistry gcse learning site

You can increase the surface area of a solid by breaking it up
into smaller pieces (see also nanoparticles).
A powder has the largest surface area and will have the fastest reaction rate.
This is why catalysts are often used as powders.

In the reaction between calcium carbonate and dilute hydrochloric acid

HCl + calcium carbonate calcium chloride + carbon dioxide + water.
HCl(aq) + CaCO3(s) CaCl2(aq) + CO2(g) + H2O(l)

calcium carbonate may be used in the form of marble chips.

The reaction rates can be compared using large marble chips,
and the same mass of small marble chips.
The reaction can be followed by plotting the loss of mass against time.

The reaction rate is faster (the slope is steeper)
for the reaction with small marble chips (greater surface area).

Note that the final loss of mass is the same for both reactions.
This is because the same mass of calcium carbonate (marble chips) will
give the same mass of carbon dioxide whether the chips are large or small.
The smaller chips will just do it more quickly.

Increasing the Surface Area of a Solid.

A solid in a solution can only react when particles collide with the surface.
The bigger the area of the solid surface,
the more particles can collide with it per second,
and the faster the reaction rate is.

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