Reaction Kinetics

4 Factors That Can Increase the Rate of a Reaction

  1. Increasing the temperature usually increases the rate of a reaction, because as the temperature increases, the reactant molecules move faster and are more likely to collide; also, they collide with greater energy.
  2. Increasing the concentration of reactants that are gaseous or aqueous will usually increase the rate of a reaction because it increases the probability of a collision between reactant molecules. For gaseous reactants, their concentration can be increased by reducing the volume of the container or by any means that increases the partial pressure of a gaseous reactant. However, the concentration of liquid or solid reactants cannot be increased by any normal means.
  3. Adding a catalyst can increase the rate of a reaction by providing an alternate pathway for the reaction to occur. The alternate pathway is faster because it has a lower activation energy (AE).
  4. Increasing the surface area of a solid reactant can increase the rate of a reaction. However, simply adding more of a solid reactant will not increase the rate of a reaction if the surface area of the solid reactant is not increased.