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CHEMICAL KINETICS: THE IODINE CLOCK REACTION

J. FERNANDEZ
INSTIUTE OF BIOLOGY, COLLEGE OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY 1101, PHILIPPINES
DATE SUBMITTED: DECEMBER 13, 2013
DATE PERFORMED: DECEMBER 6, 2013
ABSTRACT
Chemical kinetics determines the rate of a certain reaction. Rate of reaction can be expressed as the ratio of the
change in concentration of a reactant/product over the change in time. There are many factors that affect the rate of
reaction and three of these factors were investigated in this paper. Different runs of the used mixture were subjected
to varying parameters. The effect of concentration was first examined. Based on the results, the higher the
concentration, the immediate is the reaction. The effect of temperature was also observed and it was very evident in
the results that rate and temperature are directly related. The presence of catalyst was the last factor to be studied
wherein the change in rate was very evident. The presence of catalyst resulted to very fast reaction. The effect of
these factors can be attributed to the changes that happen in the collision of reacting particles. The catalyst worked
by lowering the activation energy which is the minimum energy required for a reaction to take place.

INTRODUCTION
Chemical kinetics is the branch of chemistry that
deals with how fast a reaction occurs. Unlike
thermodynamics that just tells us if a reaction can
occur spontaneously, chemical kinetics determines
the reaction rates. The rate of reaction reflects the
rate of change in the concentrations of the reactants
and products of a reaction. For a hypothetical reaction
below,

the rate of reaction can be written as:

The process by which a reaction occurs, called the


reactions mechanism, can often be deduced by
measuring how fast the reaction occurs. This is
possible because a reactions rate depends on the
rate of effective collisions between reacting species.
Two theories account for how chemical
reactions occur, the Collision Theory and the
Transition State Theory.
Based on the Collision Theory, three basic events
must happen for a reaction to occur. The atoms,
molecules, or ions involved must (1) collide, (2)
collide with enough energy to break and form bonds,
and (3) collide with proper orientation. The transition
state theory, meanwhile, postulates that reactants
form a high energy intermediate, the transition state,
which then falls apart into products. For a reaction to

occur, reactants must acquire sufficient energy


(activation energy, Ea) to form the transition state.
Generally, the rate of reaction can be affected by
factors such as nature of reactants, concentration of
reactants, temperature of reaction, and the presence
of a catalyst. In this specific experiment called the
iodine clock reaction, only the last three factors were
studied.
Also, the study of chemical kinetics is of major
importance in chemical research. Knowledge about it
helps in fields like pyrotechnics and medicine
especially in treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular
disease.
METHODOLOGY
The experiment was divided into three parts. Part A
studied the effect of changes in concentrations on the
reaction rate, Part B the changes in temperature, and
Part C the presence of a catalyst.
For Part A, solutions of Beaker A (KI and KCl) and
Beaker B (K2S2O8, K2SO4, Na2S2O3 and fresh starch)
with varying concentrations were mixed together
representing different runs. The reactions were timed
until the mixture turned blue.
For Part B, 2 sets of Run 2 were prepared. One set
was put into a hot water bath while the other in an ice
bath. After reaching desired temperatures, contents of
Beakers A and B were mixed. The reactions were
timed until the mixture turned blue.
For Part C, another set of Run 2 was prepared.
Content of Beaker A was mixed with B. This time, 4
drops of 1M CuSO4 was added to the mixture. The
reaction was timed until the mixture turned blue.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
For the experiment, the balanced equation is

so the rate can be known from

2
2
S2 O8
S O4

=
=

Rate=

[ I 2]
t

To study the effect of concentration, 5 different runs


with varying volumes and molarity of reactants were
prepared. Initial concentrations were computed based
on the given data. Upon computation, similar values
of initial concentrations were obtained for some of the
set-ups. The rates were also estimated using 1/t. The
values of t were obtained experimentally. Using all the
data on the datasheet (See Appendix) and the
computed initial rates, order of reaction with respect
to each reactant was calculated. For thiosulfate, the
ratio of Run 1 and Run 2 was used. Run 2 and Run 5
were used to get the order with respect to iodide.
After substituting the values, it was determined that
the reaction was 2nd order with respect to thiosulfate
and 1st order with respect to iodide. This gives us an
overall kinetic order of 3. The rate constant which is
75 was known through substitution of values.
Therefore, the rate law is expressed as:
Rate = 75 [S2O82-]2 [I-]
Unfortunately though, the computed orders and rate
law were a bit different from the supposed values.
Theoretically, the overall kinetic order would only be
1. The reactions order with respect to thiosulfate
should have been equal to 1 and to iodide equal to 0.
The next factor that was considered was temperature.
Temperature is a measure of heat, which is the
average kinetic energy of an objects molecules. An
increase in the temperature would excite the
molecules, making them move faster and hit each
other more frequently. In line with this, introducing
heat to a reaction will increase its reaction rate, while
doing the reverse would slow it down. Just by
observing the data in the datasheet, it can be
observed that rate was fast at higher temperature and

slow at lower temperature. This relationship can be


expressed through the Arrhenius equation:

implying the direct relationship of rate and


temperature. Since the reaction is theoretically 1st
order, it is safe to assume that 1/t is equal to the rate
constant. Getting the natural logarithm of the
equation, we get:

solution. Naturally, this reaction proceeds forward


very slowly but due to the presence of the catalyst,
the reaction went fast. Basically, the presence of
CuSO4 produced a different path with a lower
activation energy thus speeding up the reaction.
Difference in the activation energies can be observed
through the 2 graphical representations.

which could be compared to the line equation y=mx+b


where the slope, m, is equivalent to Ea/R. After
plotting the values, a negative slope of the line would
be evident. Generally, the graph of the relationship of
temperature to the rate of reaction would look like
this:

Figure 2. Uncatalyzed reaction

Figure 1. Arrhenius plot


The equation of the line was calculated to derive the
activation energy and the Arrhenius constant. The
activation energy is the minimum energy
required for a reaction to take place. Its sign
is always positive since it is energy absorbed by the
system.
Part 3 of the experiment studied the effect of the
presence of catalyst on the reaction rate. CuSO4 was
the catalyst used. The reaction was done in a solution
with starch where the iodine part reacts to form a blue

Figure 3. Catalyzed reaction


Cu2+ was used as the metal catalyst and starch as the
indicator. Though a catalyst may contribute to the rate
of reaction, it is important to note that it is not used up

in the reaction, it will have the same initial and final


concentration even after the reaction is completed.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


With all the data and information obtained, it is safe to
assume that reaction rates depend on many factors.
As observed in the experiment, rate of reaction is
affected by the concentration of reactants, changes in
temperature and the presence of catalyst. Generally,
the higher the concentration, the immediate the
reaction is. The higher the temperature, the faster the
reaction occurs. The presence of catalyst significantly
increases the rate of the reaction.

Petrucci, R. H. (2011). General chemistry: Principles


and modern applications. Toronto: Pearson
Canada.602-654
Silberberg, M. S. (2007). Principles of general
chemistry.
Boston:
McGraw-Hill
Higher
Education.507-550
Skoog, D. A.,
West, D. M.,
Holler, F. J.,
&
Crouch, S. R. (2013). Fundamentals of analytical
chemistry. Fort Worth, Cal.: Brooks/Cole, Cengage
Learning.878-890

REFERENCES
APPENDIX

Calculations

0.02 x

0.02 x

0.08 y

k
k
Rate 1 2.4 x 103
=
=
Rate 2 1.6 x 103

0.02

0.04 x

y
0.04

0.04 y

k
k
Rate 2 1.6 x 1 03
=
=
Rate 5 3.4 0 x 103
log 0.34 = x log 0.5 + y log 1

log 1.5= x log1 + y log 2

x = log 0.34/ log 0.5

y= log 1.5/ log 2

x = 1.55 ~ 2

y= 0.6 ~ 1

rate = k [S2O82-]2 [I-]


k = rate/ [S2O82-]2 [I-]
k = 2.4x10-3/ (0.02)2 (0.08)
k = 75

Sample Calculations
Run 1
[S2O82-] = 0.1M x 5 mL / 25 mL = 0.02 M
[I-] = 0.2 M x 10 mL / 25 mL = 0.08 M

Rate = 1/t
Y = A + Bx
Y = 5.75 3657.1 x
Ea = m x R
Ea = (-3657.1) x (8.314)
Ea = 30.4 kJ/mol
A = e5.75
A= 314.2