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Chemistry LibreTexts

14: Chemical Kinetics

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  • This chapter will  present a quantitative description of when the chemical composition of a system is not constant with time. Chemical kinetics is the study of reaction rates, the changes in the concentrations of reactants and products with time. With a discussion of chemical kinetics, the reaction rates or the changes in the concentrations of reactants and products with time are studied. The techniques you are about to learn will enable you to describe the speed of many such changes and predict how the composition of each system will change in response to changing conditions. As you learn about the factors that affect reaction rates, the methods chemists use for reporting and calculating those rates, and the clues that reaction rates provide about events at the molecular level. 

    • 14.1: Factors that Affect Reaction Rates
      There are many factors that influence the reaction rates of chemical reactions include the concentration of reactants, temperature, the physical state of reactants and their dispersion, the solvent, and the presence of a catalyst.
    • 14.2: Reaction Rates
      In this Module, the quantitative determination of a reaction rate is demonstrated. Reaction rates can be determined over particular time intervals or at a given point in time. A rate law describes the relationship between reactant rates and reactant concentrations. Reaction rates are reported as either the average rate over a period of time or as the instantaneous rate at a single time. Reaction rates can be determined over particular time intervals or at a given point in time.
    • 14.3: Concentration and Rates (Differential Rate Laws)
      The rate law for a reaction is a mathematical relationship between the reaction rate and the concentrations of species in solution. Rate laws can be expressed either as a differential rate law, describing the change in reactant or product concentrations as a function of time, or as an integrated rate law, describing the actual concentrations of reactants or products as a function of time. The rate constant and reaction order are extracted directly from the rate law.
    • 14.4: The Change of Concentration with Time (Integrated Rate Laws)
      The reaction rate of a zeroth-order reaction is independent of the concentration of the reactants. The reaction rate of a first-order reaction is directly proportional to the concentration of one reactant. The reaction rate of a simple second-order reaction is proportional to the square of the concentration of one reactant. Knowing the rate law of a reaction gives clues to the reaction mechanism.
    • 14.5: Temperature and Rate
      A minimum energy (activation energy,Ea) is required for a collision between molecules to result in a chemical reaction. Plots of potential energy for a system versus the reaction coordinate show an energy barrier that must be overcome for the reaction to occur. The arrangement of atoms at the highest point of this barrier is the activated complex, or transition state, of the reaction. At a given temperature, the higher the Ea, the slower the reaction.
    • 14.6: Reaction Mechanisms
      A balanced chemical reaction does not necessarily reveal either the individual elementary reactions by which a reaction occurs or its rate law. A reaction mechanism is the microscopic path by which reactants are transformed into products. Each step is an elementary reaction. Species that are formed in one step and consumed in another are intermediates. Each elementary reaction can be described in terms of its molecularity. The slowest step in a reaction mechanism is the rate-determining step.
    • 14.7: Catalysis
      Catalysts participate in a chemical reaction and increase its rate. They do not appear in the reaction’s net equation and are not consumed during the reaction. Catalysts allow a reaction to proceed via a pathway that has a lower activation energy than the uncatalyzed reaction. In heterogeneous catalysis, catalysts provide a surface to which reactants bind in a process of adsorption. In homogeneous catalysis, catalysts are in the same phase as the reactants. Enzymes are biological catalysts.
    • 14.E: Exercises
      These are homework exercises to accompany the Textmap created for "Chemistry: The Central Science" by Brown et al. Complementary General Chemistry question banks can also be found for other Textmaps.
    • 14.S: Chemical Kinetics (Summary)
      A summary of the key concepts in this chapter of the Textmap created for "Chemistry: The Central Science" by Brown et al.