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Factors influencing Rates of Chemical reactions

There are various factors that effect the rate of a reaction. These are

1. Concentration of reactants
2. Effect of Pressure
3. Effect Temperature
4. Effect Surface Area
5. Effect Stirring
6. Effect Catalyst
7. Effect radiation

Effect of Concentration

If the concentration of any reactant in a solution is increased,

the rate of reaction increases. This is because; Increase in the
concentration, increases the probability of a collision between reactant
particles because more of them are presents in the same volume and so
it increases the chance of a collision to form products.

In general, increasing the concentration of reactant A or B will

increase the chance or frequency of a successful collision between them
and increase the speed of product formation.

Effect of Pressure

If one or more of the reactants is a gas, then increasing

pressure will effectively increase the concentration of the reactant
molecules and speed up the reaction. On increasing pressure, collision
among the molecule increases and due to this speed of the reaction will
also increase.

Effect of Temperature

When gases or liquids are heated the particles gain kinetic

energy and move faster. The increased speed increases the (frequency)
of collision between reactant molecules and the rate increases. This
effect is observed for both exothermic and endothermic reactions. A
general approximate rule for the effect of temperature on reaction rates
is that the reaction rate for most of the chemical reactions becomes
almost double, for every 10 0C rise in temperature.

Effect of Surface area

If a solid reactant or a solid catalyst is broken down into smaller

pieces the rate of reaction increases. The increase in the speed is because;
the smaller pieces of the same mass of solid have a greater surface area
as compared to larger pieces of the solid. Therefore, there is more chance
that a reactant particle will hit the solid surface and react.

Effect of Stirring

Stirring the mixture is an important rate factor. If the reacting

mixture is not stirred ‘evenly’, the reactant concentration in solution
becomes much less near the solid, which tends to settle down at the
bottom of the container Therefore, at the bottom of the container the
reaction prematurely slows down.It changes the overall rate
measurement and making the results uneven and inaccurate.

Effect of the nature of reactants and products

As we know that during a chemical reaction old bonds are

broken and new bonds are formed .The reactivity of a substance can,
therefore, be related to the ease with which the specific bonds are
broken or formed and the number of such bonds involved. E.g. the
oxidation of nitric oxide to nitrogen dioxide takes place rapidly while
oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide takes place slowly
In the above examples, the reacting species in both the reactions
appear to be same but differ in their reaction rates.

Effect of presence of Catalyst

A catalyst is a substance that influences a rate of a reaction

without undergoing any change itself. Presence of certain catalysts
increases the rate of reaction. For example H2 and O2 don’t react at room
temperature but in the presence of finely divided platinum (catalyst) the
reaction becomes quite vigorous.

Effect of Radiation

In some cases, the rate of chemical reaction increases by the use

of certain radiations. This is because photons of the radiations possess
sufficient energies to break certain bonds in the reactants. For example
reaction between hydrogen and chlorine it is very slow in the absence of
light. But in the presence of light, the rate of reaction is very fast.