Effect of Temperature on the Rate of Reaction

Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy required for a chemical reaction to take place. This means that particles need to have energy greater than or equal to the activation energy for a successful collision to occur.

Increasing the temperature increases the energy of the reacting particles. As these particles gain more energy, they will move faster, which increases the frequency of collisions. So, increasing the temperature increases the frequency of collisions.

A conical flask containing blue balls in motion, labelled 'increasing temperature'. To the right, another conical flask with red balls moving inside, positioned above candles.

Also, each collision now has more energy. This allows more particles to overcome the activation energy barrier, which leads to more successful collisions.

A box labeled "Low temperature" contains moving balls (representing particles) with only one visible collision. An arrow, labeled "increased temperature", points to another box labelled "High temperature", which contains many moving balls and displays multiple collisions.

Rate of Reaction Graph

We can represent the effect of temperature on reaction rate using a rate of reaction graph.

The graph line for the higher temperature shows a higher rate of reaction than the line for the lower temperature. We know this because the graph line for the higher temperature has a steeper gradient and it becomes horizontal faster.

Reaction graph with the y-axis labelled 'total volume of gas produced' and the x-axis labelled 'time from start of reaction'. Two lines ascend and converge: a red line associated with the top curve indicates 'high temperature', and a blue line connected to the bottom curve indicates 'low temperature'.

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