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Factors Affecting Reaction Rate

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Certain changes in a the conditions of a reaction can affect the rate of that reaction. What theory can be used to explain these rate effects?

The following are factors that affect reaction rates:


If you increase the concentration of at least one reacting substance results, the rate of reaction increases. Why is this? How does this affect the frequency of collisions?

Surface Area

Increasing the surface area of a reactant increases the rate of reaction. Why would this be? Which form of reactant would react faster: a solid chunk or powder of the same reactant?


Raising the temperature of a reaction usually results in a higher reaction rate. How does temperature affect the kinetic energy of reactant particles, and how does this affect the frequency of collisions? How does temperature relate to activation energy?


An increase in pressure increases the rate of reaction; with an increase in pressure, gas particles are forced closer together, therefore increasing the concentration of the gas.

Remember: pressure only affects the rate of gaseous reactions!

You can find more information on the concept and check your answers here.

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