There are a variety of ways in which to speed up chemical reactions. By breaking a solid down into something smaller, this will increase the size of its surface area. The solution can be made to be more concentrated. As well, the temperature can be increased. All three of these processes can be used to speed up chemical reactions. Another known method to speed up chemical reactions is to increase the pressure and by adding a catalyst. Temperature is perhaps one of the more common methods to change the rate of a chemical reaction because it affects the concentration of the reactants. When all other things are maintained in the chemical reaction, then the variable will be the rate of reaction.
To make an informed prediction about the rate of reaction, you should know what happens to the reaction rate when more temperature is added. This also goes hand in hand with the concentration of the compound. When two or more chemicals react with one another, their molecules crash into each other with enough force to create a reaction to take place. When the temperature of the compounds are elevated so to are the molecules that participate in the reaction. This is one way in which to speed up chemical reactions.
A catalyst is another method in which to speed up chemical reactions. A catalyst is a substance that can speed up the rate of the chemical reaction. Although it will have an affect on the rate, a catalyst is chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction. You only need very small amounts of the catalysts in order to drastically increase the rate of the reaction. This is due to the fact that, when any catalyst is introduced the chemical compound has to take a different route in order for the reaction to happen. By adding excessive amounts of extra catalysts will have no further impact on increasing the speed of chemical reactions.
Another well known method to speed up chemical reactions is by increasing the concentration of the reactants. In theory, when the concentration is increased, it forces more collisions between the reactants, and also increases the speed of the reaction process. When using this method to increase the speed of chemical reaction, the temperature must remain constant. When these collisions take place between the two molecules, and only when they have enough energy, will a reaction take place.
The surface area can also be a factor when you try and speed up chemical reactions. When there is a solid participating, it’s make up will determine the reaction rate. This is because the only time that two molecules can collide is when they are in the liquid solid interface. So by increasing the surface area of the solid involved, you can also increase the amount of molecules that collide. When the more molecules collide you speed up chemical reactions. It sounds strange to say, but smaller particles have larger surface areas. This is explained in the ‘Bread and Butter Theroy’. By slicing a loaf of bread into as many thin layers as possible, will increase the amount of sides that you have to put butter on.