Lab 18: Chemical Kinetics

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For our lab this week we are going to look at some of the different ways to speed up reactions, as discussed in Lesson 18. We will be using our old friends sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and vinegar, but this time we will quantify the rates of reactions. If we have time, we will see how changing the identity of one of the reactants changes the rate, as well.

Please read The Home Scientist pp. 106-113. We will be doing Session VI-1, pp. 108-113.

Experimental Title: Lab 18:  Determining the Effect of Temperature, Concentration, and Surface Area on Reaction Rates

Date of laboratory:  September 30, 2014

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to determine the effect of temperature, concentration and surface area on reaction rates of acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate.


Please read the introduction to this topic on pp. 106-107 and the background on pp. 108-109.

The equation for the reaction is:


To make sure the reaction runs to completion, we want a large excess of acetic acid so we’ll use 25 mL for each test run.

Special safety concerns for Lab 18:

  • If anything spills, please clean it up immediately with a paper towel and let your instructor know.
  • If glass breaks, do not pick it up with your bare hands. Notify your instructor immediately.
  • Be sure to wash your hands when you are finished with this lab


See page 108.

Procedures: We will do parts I, II, and III on pp. 109-112. Please write the procedures in your notebooks.


Once you have completed the three parts, sit down and write a sentence or two to explain the results of each part.


Record any thoughts you have about the experiments, including:

  • Possible improvements to the procedures or how to tweak techniques
  • How the results differed from your expectations
  • Suggestions for other experiments
  • What key concepts you learned about rates of reactions

Please leave a comment or send an e-mail if you have any questions before our meeting.


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