Worksheet: Interpreting Reaction Profiles

In this worksheet, we will practice drawing reaction profiles and identifying intermediates, transition states, activation energies, and net energy changes.


Illustrated in the plot is the energy change during a chemical reaction.

How many transition states exist in this reaction?

How many intermediates exist in this reaction?

Estimate, to the nearest 5 kJ/mol, the activation energy for the forward reaction.

The reaction profile can be altered by changing the conditions under which the reaction takes place. For which of the following reaction profiles is the activation energy for the forward reaction lowest?

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E


When the products of a chemical reaction are more energetically stable than the reactants, energy is released as heat. What is the type of this described reaction?

  • AExothermic
  • BEndothermic
  • CSpontaneous
  • DExplosive


Fill in the blank: In a chemical reaction, a high-energy transition state must be reached for chemical bonds to be broken and for products to be formed. The amount of energy needed to reach this transition state is known as the .

  • Akinetic energy
  • Bactivation energy
  • Cactivation enthalpy
  • Dformation energy


What is the definition of the activation energy for a chemical reaction?

  • AThe difference in free energy between intermediates and reactants
  • BThe difference in free energy between the products and the transition state
  • CThe difference in free energy between the reactants and the transition state
  • DThe difference in free energy between reactants and products
  • EThe difference in free energy between intermediates and products


Which of the following energy contributions does not affect the heat released per mole of product formed?

  • AActivation energy
  • BProduct kinetic energy
  • CReactant kinetic energy
  • DReactant entropy
  • EProduct entropy

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