Worksheet: Reactions on Surfaces

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the effect of surface area on reaction rates, considering how collision frequency scales with surface area.

Q1:

A student is performing a catalytic cracking of liquid paraffin, using porcelain chips as the catalyst. To accelerate the reaction, the surface area of the porcelain chips must be increased. Which of the following tools would be most suitable for this task?

  • A Calipers
  • B Bunsen burner
  • C Ice-water bath
  • D Pestle and mortar
  • E Glass rod

Q2:

Consider a cube with sides that are exactly 10 cm long, as shown:

What is the volume of the cube?

What is the surface area of the cube?

If the cube were cut in two, would the total volume and the total surface area increase, decrease, or stay the same?

  • AThe total volume and total surface area would both stay the same.
  • B The total volume would increase and the total surface area would stay the same.
  • C The total volume would stay the same and the total surface area would increase.
  • D The total volume would decrease and the total surface area would increase.
  • E The total volume would stay the same and the surface area would decrease.

Q3:

The following combinations of shapes all have the same total volume. Which has the greatest total surface area?

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D

Q4:

In a reaction with hydrochloric acid, which of the following forms of calcium carbonate would react most rapidly, assuming the same total mass of calcium carbonate is used?

  • AA single thin plate
  • BA single sphere
  • CA cluster of fine needles
  • DA fine powder

Q5:

An insoluble solid is reacted with dilute acid. Why does breaking up the solid into smaller particles increase the rate at which it can react?

  • A Splitting the solid into smaller particles increases the kinetic energy of colliding molecules.
  • B Weakening the interactions between molecules in the solid produces gaps to accommodate acid molecules.
  • C Reducing the particle size of the solid allows more molecules to dissolve and collide with acid molecules.
  • D Increasing the surface area of the solid results in more collisions with acid molecules.
  • E Breaking bonds between molecules in the solid liberates bonding electrons to react with acid molecules.

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