How does surface area, temperature, concentration, a catalyst, and a inhibitor affect the rate of a chemical reaction? Give an illustration.

  • Surface Area . : The surface area refers to the amount of the material that comes in contact with other reactants. Lets say you have a piece of chalk and some chalk powder of the same amount. The powdered chalk would react quicker than the piece of chalk because it has a larger surface area. The smaller the surface is the slower your reaction may be , but if you increase the surface area you could have a quicker reaction rate.
  • Temperature . : The increase in temperature, the increase of your reaction rate. The lower the temperature is, the lower reaction rate you are most likely to get. For example, you have a glass of warm water, a glass of cold water, and two glow sticks. The glow stick in the warmer water id glowing more brightly than the one in the cooler water.
  • Concentration . : Concentration is another factor of reaction rates. It is the amount of substances in a given unit of volume. By increasing the amount of substances in the concentration the reaction rate tends to increase. Say you where to be boiling water, if you don't add any salt to the water it may take a little time to boil, but when you add the salt to the water, after a little time, the water begins to boil quicker.
  • Catalyst . : Some people say that a catalyst is somewhat like adding magic to the reaction. If a reactions don’t have a certain amount of energy, it probably won’t happen, being a reaction needs a certain amount of energy to happen. What the catalyst does if lowers the amount of energy needed so a reaction can happen quicker and easier. A catalyst does not have to be another molecule because it is about energy.
  • Inhibitor . : Inhibitors are the complete opposite of a catalyst. For they slow the reaction down , or sometimes stop the reaction completely. Some people ask the question “Why would you need these”, but what they don’t realize it that you can use inhibitors to slow the reaction down and make it more controllable. Some reactions would keep going on and on without inhibitors, and if this happened all the molecules would be used up , and that would be horrific especially in your body.



Resources."Chemical Reactions." Chem4Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2011. <>.

Rates of Chemical Reactions.
Brian Jerome, 1998. Video Segment.
1 February 2011. <>.