How does pressure influence rate in gaseous reactions?

Pressure influences the rate of gaseous reactions by affecting the concentration of the reactants, with higher pressure generally increasing the reaction rate.

In gaseous reactions, pressure is directly proportional to concentration. This is based on the ideal gas law, which states that the pressure of a gas is directly proportional to its concentration (number of moles per unit volume). Therefore, when the pressure of a gaseous system is increased, the concentration of the gas molecules also increases. This leads to an increase in the frequency of collisions between the reactant molecules, which in turn increases the rate of reaction.

However, it's important to note that this is generally true for reactions where the total number of moles of gaseous reactants is greater than the total number of moles of gaseous products. In such reactions, an increase in pressure shifts the equilibrium position to the side with fewer moles of gas, according to Le Chatelier's principle. This can result in an increased rate of reaction.

Conversely, if the total number of moles of gaseous reactants is less than the total number of moles of gaseous products, an increase in pressure would shift the equilibrium position to the side with more moles of gas, potentially decreasing the rate of reaction.

Furthermore, the effect of pressure on the rate of reaction is more pronounced in reactions involving larger molecules. This is because larger molecules occupy more space, and thus an increase in pressure (and hence concentration) has a greater effect on the frequency of collisions between these larger molecules.

In summary, pressure can significantly influence the rate of gaseous reactions by affecting the concentration of the reactants and the frequency of molecular collisions. However, the specific effect of pressure on the reaction rate can vary depending on the reaction conditions and the nature of the reactants and products involved.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in Your Exams with our Free Resources:

  • STUDY NOTES

    Expert-crafted notes designed to make learning the material engaging and clear.

  • PRACTICE QUESTIONS

    Comprehensive questions to boost your revision and exam preparedness.

  • PAST EXAM PAPERS

    Extensive collection of previous exam papers for effective revision.

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on477 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Chemistry ib Answers

    Read All Answers
    background image

    Hire a tutor

    Please fill out the form and we'll find a tutor for you

    Phone number (with country code)
    background

    Still have questions? Let’s get in touch.