## Question:

What effect does the concentration of a substance have on the overall rate of a reaction?

## Hypothesis

A higher concentration of a given substance may cause a reaction to proceed at a faster rate when compared to a reaction with a lower concentration of the same given substance.  This would be because there would be more acid molecules to collide with the magnesium atoms. Therefore, an increase in concentration would cause an increase in possible collisions, thus there may be a faster reaction rate.

## Reaction

2HCl(l) + Mg(s) -> MgCl2(s) + H2(g)

The reaction between magnesium metal and hydrochloric acid is suitable for this particular experiment. The concentration of hydrochloric acid can easily and safely be adjusted by adding water to the solution. The reaction produces a gas, so the reaction rate can easily be determined by measuring the amount of gas released as the reaction proceeds. Furthermore, the progression of the reaction can be seen, without difficulty, as the amount of magnesium metal decreases visibly until completely diminished.

## Materials

• Electronic balance
• Weighing boats
• Timer
• 40mL 8.9 mol hydrochloric acid
• 1.5g magnesium metal
• Distilled water
• 200mL beaker
• Glass stirring rod

## Experimental Design

The first step of this experiment will be to create 3 different samples of hydrochloric acid with different molarities (2 mol, 1 mol, 0.5 mol). To do this, the hydrochloric acid stock solution (with known molarity) will be mixed with distilled water until the desired molarity has been achieved. 6 50mL samples of hydrochloric acid will be created (2 trials for each molarity). Next, 6 samples of 0.25g of magnesium metal will be mixed with each of the 3 hydrochloric acid solutions (2 trials each).

The initial mass (including both the hydrochloric acid and magnesium metal) of each sample must be recorded. As the magnesium metal is added to the hydrochloric acid solution, the timer will be started. The mass of the solution will be recorded at 30-second intervals. Once the reaction is complete (no more bubbles are being released and there is no magnesium metal remaining), the timer is stopped and the final time and mass are recorded. Observations should be recorded in a table similar to the one below:

## Method:

• To create the 2mol hydrochloric acid solution, 22.4mL of the 8.9mol hydrochloric acid stock solution was mixed with 77.6mL of distilled water in an Erlenmeyer flask and stirred. The solution was then divided into two 50mL samples.
• To create the 1mol hydrochloric acid solution, 11.2mL of the 8.9mol hydrochloric acid stock solution was mixed with 88.8mL of distilled water in an Erlenmeyer flask and stirred. The solution was then divided into two 50mL samples.
• To create the 0.5mol hydrochloric acid solution, 5.6mL of the 8.9mol hydrochloric acid stock solution was mixed with 94.4mL of distilled water in an Erlenmeyer flask and stirred. The solution was then divided into two 50mL samples.
• Six 0.25g samples of magnesium metal were set aside in weighing boats.
• 50mL of the 2mol hydrochloric acid solution in a beaker and one weigh boat containing 0.25g of magnesium metal was placed on an electronic balance and the initial mass was recorded.
• The sample of magnesium metal was then added to the hydrochloric acid sample (still remaining on the scale). At the same time, the timer was started.
**NOTE: Be sure to keep the weigh boat on the scale after adding the magnesium metal. This is so that the initial mass and final mass reflect only the gas being released.
• Every 30 seconds the mass was recorded in the data table.
• Steps 5-7 were repeated with the second samples of hydrochloric acid and magnesium metal (using the same molarity of hydrochloric acid).
• Steps 5-8 were repeated using 1mol hydrochloric acid and then 0.5mol hydrochloric acid.

## Challenges

One issue that our group encountered when performing this experiment was that when using the 0.5mol hydrochloric acid, the reaction proceeded very slowly and we had not allowed enough time for the reaction to complete. This could be resolved by using a molarity between 1mol/L and 2mol/L instead of decreasing the molarity to 0.5mol/L.

## Sources of Error

In chemistry, you can almost never have the perfect environment and perfect accuracy to receive the perfect result. Each experiment, though done multiple times, will almost always have different results. In our experiment, there were many such sources of error. The Magnesium metal, when poured into the HCl acid, left its residue on the measuring boat so not every single particle of Mg was used which, in turn, might have caused a minute difference in the final result.

Another factor is that we might not have had exactly 50 ml of HCl. Its cohesive properties left residue on the sides of the beaker which might have caused a small difference. The graduated cylinder also is only exact to the 0.01 ml which leaves a 1% margin of error. Also, the hydrogen gas release condensed around the sides of the beaker which might have also had a change in the mass of the final product.

## Concentration and How It Affects The Rate of Reaction

According to our findings and the collision theory, concentration clearly affects the rate of reaction. This is because by increasing the concentration of the reactant you increase the number of molecules of the reactant which, in turn, increases the frequency of the collisions. The more particles there are the easier it is to find a particle to collide with, which increases the time it takes for the reaction to occur.

William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

### 1 Comment

1. Fatin A. says:

Thanks