Rates of reaction

Effect of temperature

The rate of a chemical reaction can be changed by altering the temperature. If the temperature is increased:

  • the reactant particles move more quickly
  • they have more energy
  • the particles collide more often, and more of the collisions are successful
  • the rate of reaction increases
Graph of total mass of product against time from start of reaction, for high and low temperature.

Compared to a reaction at a low temperature, the graph line for the same reaction but at a higher temperature:

  • has a steeper gradient at the start
  • becomes horizontal sooner

This shows that the rate of reaction was greater at the higher temperature.