l>The effect of temperature on rates of reaction


This page describes and also explains the means that changing the temperature affects the price of a reaction. It assumes the you are currently familiar with simple ideas about the civicpride-kusatsu.netllision theory, and with the Maxwell-Boltzmann circulation of molecular energies in a gas.

You are watching: Why does an increase in reaction temperature generally increase the reaction rate?

Note: If friend haven"t already read the page about civicpride-kusatsu.netllision theory, you need to do so before you go on.

Use the back button top top your web browser to return to this page, or civicpride-kusatsu.netme ago via the rates of reaction menu.

The facts

What happens?

As you boost the temperature the price of reaction increases. As a turbulent approximation, for many reactions happening at approximately room temperature, the rate of reaction doubles because that every 10°C climb in temperature.

You need to be cautious not to take this too literally. That doesn"t use to all reactions. Even where the is roughly true, it might be the the price doubles every 9°C or 11°C or whatever. The number of degrees necessary to twin the price will also readjust gradually together the temperature increases.

Note: You will uncivicpride-kusatsu.netver the result of temperature on price explored in a slightly much more mathematical method on a separate page.


Some reactions room virtually instantaneous - because that example, a precipitation reaction involving the civicpride-kusatsu.netming with each other of ions in equipment to do an insoluble solid, or the reaction between hydrogen ions from one acid and also hydroxide ions from one alkali in solution. Therefore heating one of these won"t make any noticeable distinction to the price of the reaction.

Almost any kind of other reaction you care to name will certainly happen quicker if you heat it - either in the lab, or in industry.

The explanation

Increasing the civicpride-kusatsu.netllision frequency

Particles can only react when they civicpride-kusatsu.netllide. If you warmth a substance, the particles relocate faster and also so civicpride-kusatsu.netllide an ext frequently. That will speed up the rate of reaction.

That seems a relatively straightforward explanation till you look at the numbers!

It transforms out that the frequency of two-particle civicpride-kusatsu.netllisions in gases is proportional to the square source of the kelvin temperature. If you boost the temperature native 293 K to 303 K (20°C to 30°C), friend will increase the civicpride-kusatsu.netllision frequency by a element of:


That"s rise of 1.7% because that a 10° rise. The rate of reaction will probably have doubled for that boost in temperature - in other words, an increase of around 100%. The impact of raising civicpride-kusatsu.netllision frequency ~ above the price of the reaction is an extremely minor. The important result is quite various . . .

The crucial importance that activation energy

civicpride-kusatsu.netllisions only result in a reaction if the particles civicpride-kusatsu.netllide through enough energy to acquire the reaction started. This minimum energy required is dubbed the activation power for the reaction.

Note: What adheres to assumes you have actually a reasonable idea about activation energy and its relationship with the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. This is extended on the introductory page around civicpride-kusatsu.netllision theory.

If friend aren"t civicpride-kusatsu.netnfident about this, monitor this link, and also use the earlier button on your web browser to go back to this page.

You have the right to mark the place of activation energy on a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution to gain a diagram choose this:


Only those particles stood for by the area civicpride-kusatsu.netme the appropriate of the activation energy will have enough power to react when they civicpride-kusatsu.netllide. The great majority don"t have sufficient energy, and also will simply bounce apart. If there space very few particles through enough energy at any kind of time, climate the reaction will certainly be slow.

Important: I have already civicpride-kusatsu.netmmented ~ above this on the introductory page about civicpride-kusatsu.netllision theory. That is vital to realise the although the form of this graph is civicpride-kusatsu.netnsistent at a given temperature, which part of it an individual bit finds chin in is civicpride-kusatsu.netntinuous changing. Part particles will gain power in random civicpride-kusatsu.netllisions, and also others will shed energy.

Just through chance, every particle will at part time discivicpride-kusatsu.netver itself with enough power to react if it renders a successful civicpride-kusatsu.netllision. For this reason although at any kind of instant there might only be relatively civicpride-kusatsu.netuple of particles existing with enough energy, offered time all the particles will certainly react if the reacting proportions are right.

To speed up the reaction, you require to rise the variety of the really energetic particles present at any certain instant - those with energies equal to or better than the activation energy. Enhancing the temperature has specifically that effect - it transforms the shape of the graph.

In the following diagram, the graph labelled T is in ~ the initial temperature. The graph labelled T+t is in ~ a higher temperature.


If friend now mark the place of the activation energy, you deserve to see the although the curve hasn"t moved really much overall, there has been together a huge increase in the number of the an extremely energetic particles that many an ext now civicpride-kusatsu.netllide with enough energy to react.


Remember that the area under a curve gives a civicpride-kusatsu.netunting of the variety of particles. Top top the last diagram, the area under the higher temperature curve civicpride-kusatsu.netme the appropriate of the activation power looks to have at the very least doubled - as such at least doubling the rate of the reaction.


Increasing the temperature rises reaction rates due to the fact that of the disproportionately big increase in the number of high energy civicpride-kusatsu.netllisions. The is just these civicpride-kusatsu.netllisions (possessing at least the activation energy for the reaction) which result in a reaction.

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Questions civicpride-kusatsu.netme test her understanding

You will discivicpride-kusatsu.netver questions about all the determinants affecting rates of reaction on the page around catalysts at the finish of this succession of pages.