Factors Affecting Reaction Rates
Five important factors control the rate of a chemical reaction. These are summarized below.
1. The nature of the reactants. Some elements and compounds, because of the bonds broken or formed, react more rapidly with each other.
2. The surface area exposed. Since most reactions depend on the reactants coming into contact, the surface exposed proportionally affects the rate of the reaction.
3. The concentrations. The reaction rate is usually proportional to the concentrations of the reactants.
4. The temperature. A temperature increase of 10° C above room temperature usually causes the reaction rate to double or triple.
5. The catalyst. Catalysts can either speed up or slow down the rate of a reaction.