Can You Speed Up a Chemical Reaction? Try These Four Methods

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Another method for speeding up reactions is the amount of concentration in the reactants. If there are more concentrations of reactants in a system, it makes sense that these reactants have a higher chance of colliding with each other and this creates the possibility of the chemical reaction happening much faster.

Let’s say you want to add lemon juice to your glass of water. If you add just a little bit of lemon juice and stir it, it takes awhile for the lemon juice to mix in with the water. However, if you add more concentration of lemon juice to the water, it mixes in faster. Even though this isn’t a true chemical reaction, it illustrates the concept because the higher concentration of lemon juice allows the drink to be mixed more quickly.

Temperature and Pressure

Falling in line with the collision theory, temperature and pressure are two more ways to speed up a chemical reaction. In theory, the higher the temperature, the faster the reactant molecules will move. Because these molecules are moving faster, they have a better chance of colliding with each other and producing the chemical reaction.

Like temperature, pressure is also important because it can restrict the space in which the reactant molecules move. The higher the pressure, the less space the molecules have to move, which also increases the probability that they will collide. For example, if you increase the pressure of a gas, the gas molecules are limited to a confined space and have a higher probability of reacting if the right reactants are in place.

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