An Investigation Into
the Factors Affecting the Rate of a Chemical Reaction
Title of your investigation
An investigation into the factors affecting the rate of a chemical reaction 1. Aim of investigation
To investigate the major factors that affect the rate of corrosion. 2. Motivation (explain why you have chosen to investigate this particular topic) I have chosen to examine this experiment as it applies to our daily lives. Rusting of metal occurs every day whether it’s the nails on our deck or that rusting bicycle in our garage. Considering that rust is such a worldwide problem, I wanted to conduct my own explanation. Another reason why I picked this investigation is because I enjoy chemistry and believed it would be a worthwhile experimentation. 3. Background information (very briefly what have you already found out about this topic?) Rust, also known generally as iron oxide occurs when iron reacts with oxygen in the presence of H2O (water) or moisture in the air. The oxygen in the H20 is reacting with the iron (Fe) causing the particles within the nail to break away causing rust. The action of rust is a combustion reaction, similar to fire. However, compared to fire, rust produces a much slower reaction and does not create a flame. Throughout my research I have established that there are four major factors that affect the rate of the chemical reaction; the use of a catalyst (salt [sodium chloride]), reactants (metal nail), temperature and medium (water). In addition, discovering that nails were made up of steel, which is an alloy of iron. 4. Identify
the independent variable(s) you will investigate.
An independent variable is the variable that is changed in a scientific experiment. The independent variable conducted throughout this experiment is water. Isn’t it salt and temperature?
the dependent variable
A dependent variable is the variable being tested in a scientific experiment. The dependent variable in this case is the nails’ mass. c)
variables which will need to be controlled
A variable is any factor that can be controlled or changed in an experiment. The variables that MUST be controlled for this to be a fair experiment are temperature, water and the type of nail. 4. Hypothesis (what you expect to find out). Write a separate hypothesis for each factor you will investigate. Normal tap water: The normal tap water will corrode, however in my opinion this process will take longer than the others. Heated tap water: As heat increases rust, I believe that the nail will rust quicker than the test tube containing normal water. Salted tap water: The salt will act as a catalyst increasing the rate that the nail rusts, it will have the most amount of mass. 5. Write a list of the equipment and materials you will require to complete this investigation. Be very specific with sizes and quantities. For example “2.0 L plastic bucket” rather than simply “a container” or “50g of salt” rather than just “salt”. * Electronic scales
* 3 polystyrene glass test tubes
* Test tube rack, 2 holes, wood (24mm diameter holes)
* 2.5g of salt
* 60ml of water
* Three nails of equal length 50mm (no finish)
* Pen and paper (to label test tubes)
* 3 thermometers
* Camera (to photograph extent of rust)
7. Method for the experiments in your investigation. You will need to consider the following: how will you change your independent variable?
how will you control variables?
what is the control for your experiment?
how will the equipment and materials be used?
how long will the experiment run for?
what observations and measurements need to be taken?
1. Calculate the mass of each nail and record data.
2. Place test tube rack in cupboard away from any exposed sunlight. 3. Place the nails into the test tubes.
4. Fill test tube A with normal tap water and insert thermometer. The nails should be completely covered with water. Make sure you label the test tube ‘Normal Tap Water’ so it’s...
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