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Chemical Kinetics: Understanding Rates of Chemical Reactions

For You Education students studying Chemical Kinetics

Chemical kinetics is the study of how fast or slow chemical reactions are. This course is an integral part of the IB Chemistry curriculum and plays an important role in many areas of technology, from fertilizers to developing new chemicals.

To understand chemical reactions, one must know the factors that affect the reaction rate. Some important parameters are reactant concentration, temperature, surface area and presence of catalysts.

Here are a few examples of problems related to chemical kinetics in IB Chemistry:

Example 1:

The reaction between hydrogen peroxide and iodide ions produces iodine and water. The presence of small quantities of iodide ions catalyzes the reaction. If the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is doubled, what will take place to the fee of the response?


Doubling the awareness of hydrogen peroxide will double the charge of the reaction, assuming that the attention of iodide ions stays consistent.

Example 2:

The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is an example of a first reaction. If the half-life of a process is 30 seconds, what is the rate constant?


The half-life of the first reaction is given by the equation t1/2 = ln(2)/k, where k is a rate constant. Substituting t1/2 = 30 seconds, we get:

30 = ln(2)/k

k = ln(2)/30 ≈ 0.0231 s-1

Example 3:

When magnesium is combined with hydrochloric acid, it produces magnesium chloride and hydrogen fuel. If the initial magnesium concentration is 0.02 M and the reaction fee is 0.5 M/s, what will arise if the magnesium concentration is doubled to 0.04 M?


The price of the response is proportional to the concentration of magnesium. Therefore, doubling the attention of magnesium will double the fee of the response. Thus, the brand new charge may be 0.01 M/s.

Chemical kinetics is a complex and fascinating topic in IB Chemistry. With a good understanding of the factors that affect reaction rates and some practice with problem-solving, you can master this important area of study.


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