Arrhenius Equation Activation Energy and Rate Constant K Explained | Summary and Q&A

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July 13, 2016
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Arrhenius Equation Activation Energy and Rate Constant K Explained

TL;DR

The Arrhenius equation describes the relationship between temperature, rate constant, and activation energy in chemical reactions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does the rate constant (K) in the Arrhenius equation represent?

The rate constant (K) represents the speed at which a reaction occurs. It determines the rate of the reaction based on the concentration of the reactants and the activation energy.

Q: How does the activation energy (Ea) affect the rate of a reaction?

The activation energy (Ea) is the energy required for a reaction to start. By decreasing the activation energy, the rate constant (K) increases, leading to a faster rate of the reaction.

Q: How does temperature affect the rate of a reaction?

Increasing the temperature increases the rate of a reaction. This is because a higher temperature gives particles more energy, increasing the probability of successful collisions and leading to a higher rate constant (K).

Q: What happens when a catalyst is added to a reaction?

A catalyst lowers the activation energy of a reaction. It provides an alternative reaction pathway with lower energy requirements, increasing the rate constant (K) and speeding up the reaction without being consumed in the process.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Arrhenius equation, K = Ae^(-Ea/RT), relates the rate constant (K) of a reaction to the activation energy (Ea), temperature (T), and the frequency factor (A).

  • The rate of a reaction can be determined by the order of the reactants and the concentration of reactant A.

  • Adding a catalyst lowers the activation energy, increasing the rate of the reaction.

  • Increasing temperature and concentration of reactants also increase the rate of the reaction.

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