Rate of reaction and coefficient of the reactan

  1. Suppose in the reaction 2 NO + O2 --------> 2NO2

    Why when the the concentration of NO is doubled, the rate increases 4 times, I know that the rate is directly proportional to the square of NO concentration (I don't know why) and it's order of reaction is 2 ( I don't why ). but I still can't understand a reason for all of that it seems foggy to me why the coefficient affects the proportionality. It should be intuitive to a chemistry student, I think a simple analogy would be helpful, thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    While everything you wrote is correct, it is the wrong way around.

    First, we should check what is the reaction order - and the only sure way of doing it is an experiment. Once we know order is 2 everything else follows as a series of conclusions.

  4. But in elementary reactions, the order is equal to the coefficient, isn't that true and why ???
  5. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes it is true - because we defined it this way. Order of the reaction equals sum of the coefficients from the elementary reaction equation.
  6. DrDu

    DrDu 4,641
    Science Advisor

  7. You really misunderstand me, I know because it's defined like that, I mean why does the number of moles in a balanced question affects the proportionality in the rate equation for an example 2NO + O2 ------> 2NO2 , I2 + H2 -----> 2HI

    Supposing that they are elementary reactions
    Why in the first equation on doubling the conc of NO the rate increases 4 times but on doubling I2 it increases only 2 times

    I already know the conception of the order of reaction and this stuff

    but I want an analogy that really clarifies it, or a detailed easy explanation that make it clear and intuitive to a high school student.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  8. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    If you are looking for intuition - reactions occur when the molecules collide, the more molecules, the more frequent the collisions. Number of collisions for a given kind of a molecule is proportional to its number (or concentration).
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