Summary of factors affecting reaction rate and equilibrium

Factors affecting reaction rate

      • Nature of reactants
      • Concentration of reaction
      • State of subdivision of reactants
      • Temperature
      • Presence of a catalyst

Factors affecting equilibrium

Change Direction favoured Change in reaction rate
Increase in concentration of a reactant or product To decrease the concentration of that reactant or product Increased
Decrease in concentration To increase the concentration Decreased
Increase in volume of a gaseous solution To increase the number of gaseous particles Decreased
Decrease in volume To decrease the number of gaseous particles Increased
Increase in temperature To decrease the temperature by moving in the endothermic direction Increased
Decrease in temperature To increase the temperature by moving in the exothermic direction Decreased
Addition of a catalyst No effect Increased


Conflict of factors in real life

      • This is often the case, compromise is needed
      • Rate v yield; rate usually wins
      • This is because of time, there is no point getting 99% yield if it takes months to produce
      • Better get 80% yield in days or hours
      • (This is to do with the graph)
      • Also, money and safety is also important (i.e. high temps and high pressures are expensive rare)

yield time graph

Based on this very rough graph of yield vs time, it is obvious that halving time only results in approx. 90% purity rather than 100%.

(This graph will get updated ASAP)





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