RATE LAWS A rate law describes the behavior of a reaction. The rate of a reaction is a function of temperature (through the rate constant) and concentration. RELATIVE RATES OF REACTION The reaction;

is carried out in a reactor. If at a particular point, the rate of disappearance of A is 10 mol/dm3/s, what are the rates of B and C?

-ra. The rate of disappearance of A.1. is or the rate of formation of species A is The relative rates are .

-rb.SPECIES B The rate of formation of species B is or The rate of disappearance of B.is .

is . -rc.SPECIES C The rate of fomation of C.




Rate Constant. k k is the specific reaction rate (constant) and is given by the Arrhenius Equation: Where: E = activation energy (cal/mol) R = gas constant (cal/mol*K) T = temperature (K) A = frequency factor (units of A. and k. depend on overall reaction order) .

. the more temperature sensitive k and thus the reaction rate.The larger the activation energy.

Why is there an Activation Energy? (1) the molecules need energy to distort or stretch their bonds in order to break them and to thus form new bonds (2) as the reacting molecules come close together they must overcome both steric and electron repulsion forces in order to react In our development of collision theory we assumed all molecules had the same average energy. rather there is distribution of energies where some molecules have more energy than others. all the molecules don’t have the same energy.T) describes this distribution of the energies of the molecules. The distribution function is read in conjunction with dE . However. The distraction function f(E.

T) dE = fraction of molecules with energies between E and E + dE One such distribution of energies is in the following figure. .f(E.


For the reaction . The activation energy can be thought of as a barrier to the reaction.By increasing the temperature we increase the kinetic energy of the reactant molecules which can in turn be transferred to internal energy to increase the stretching and bending of the bonds causing them to be in an activated state. vulnerable to bond breaking and reaction. One way to view the barrier to a reaction is through the reaction coordinates. These coordinates denote the energy of the system as a function of progress along the reaction path. We see that as the temperature is increased we have greater number of molecules have energies E A or greater and hence the reaction rate will be greater.

the reaction coordinate is We see that for the reaction to occur. the reactants must overcome an energy barrier or activation energy EA. .

You can tell the overall reaction order by the units of k CA -rA Reaction Order Rate Law k (mol/dm3) (mol/dm3*s) zero -rA = k (mol/dm3*s) (mol/dm3) (mol/dm3*s) 1st -rA = kCA s-1 (mol/dm3) (mol/dm3*s) 2nd -rA = kCA2 (dm3/mol*s) .

The activation energy is a measure of the minimum energy a that the reacting molecules must have in order for the reaction to occur. .

At the top of the barrier molecule B is equal distance from A and C. . the A–C distance remains fixed but B moves away for A and closer to C and the energy of system increases.The reaction of AB + C to form A + BC is shown above along the reaction coordinate. One way to think of the reaction coordinate is the linear distance between the AB molecule for a fixed linear distance between the AC molecule. But as it crosses the barrier it moved close to C to form the BC molecule and the A molecule alone. At the start of the reaction the AB distance is small and the BC distance is large. As the reaction proceeds.

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