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How To Set Up GCSE Chemistry Required Practical – Rates of Reaction – Activity 2

How To Set Up GCSE Chemistry Required Practical – Rates of Reaction – Activity 2

In this short video, Emma Dent shows how to demonstrate the AQA Required Practical – Rates of Reaction – Activity 2.

In this experiment, we are investigating how temperature affects the rate of reaction. A common experiment for this involves reacting magnesium ribbon with hydrochloric acid and measuring the rate of gas production as the temperature varies.

This practical demonstrates first-hand collision theory and the effect of temperature on kinetic energy, which is a concept in chemistry that explains how reaction rates are influenced by the frequency and energy of collisions between reactant molecules.



You will need:

  • Magnesium ribbon cut into 3 cm lengths
  • Dilute hydrochloric acid, 1.0 mol/dm3 and 1.5 mol/dm3
  • Conical flask (100 cm3)
  • Single-holed rubber bung and delivery tube to fit conical flask
  • Two measuring cylinders (50 cm3)
  • Clamp stand, boss and clamp
  • Stopwatch or timer
  • Safety equipment (safety goggles, lab coat, gloves)


  1. Use a measuring cylinder to add 50 ml of 1 mol/dm³ hydrochloric acid to a conical flask.
  2. Place a single 3 cm strip of magnesium ribbon into the conical flask.
  3. Quickly connect the gas syringe to the flask’s opening to capture the gas released. Start the stopwatch immediately.
  4. Every 10 seconds, check the gas syringe and record the volume of gas produced.
  5. Continue recording until the reaction is complete (no more gas is produced).
  6. Once the reaction is complete, disconnect the gas syringe and clean the apparatus.
  7. Repeat steps 1-4 with different concentrations of hydrochloric acid (1.5 mol/dm³).
  8. Plot your data and draw a smooth curved line of best fit.

All health and safety measures are the responsibility of the teacher doing the demonstration. A thorough risk assessment should be carried out and guidance procedures followed. It is suggested that you practice before demonstration in front of a class.


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