Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Reaction Rates

Figure from experiment 22 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry


The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solution proceeds very slowly. A bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide sitting on a grocery store shelf is stable for a lengthy period. The decomposition takes place according to the reaction below.

{\text{2 }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{(aq)}} \to {\text{2 }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O  +  }}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{(g)}}

A number of catalysts, one of which is potassium iodide, can be used to speed up this reaction.

Before data collection begins, there is no product, and the pressure is the same as atmospheric pressure. Shortly after data collection begins, oxygen accumulates at a rather constant rate. The slope of the curve at this initial time is constant and is called the initial rate. As the peroxide is decomposed, less of it is available to react and the O2 is produced at lower rates. When no more peroxide is left, O2 is no longer produced. When data collection is complete, you will perform a linear fit on the resultant graph to determine the initial reaction rate.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will use a Gas Pressure Sensor to monitor the pressure increase due to the production of oxygen gas inside an Erlenmeyer flask as potassium iodide catalytically decomposes hydrogen peroxide.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about reaction rates and factors that influence them before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with reaction rates.

Sensors and Equipment

This investigation features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry »

Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Physical Properties of Water
2Baking Soda and Vinegar Investigations
3An Investigation of Urea-Containing Cold Packs
4Conductivity of Aqueous Solutions
5Identifying a Pure Substance
6Investigating the Energy Content of Foods
7Investigating the Energy Content of Fuels
8Evaporation and Intermolecular Attractions
9Enthalpy Changes
10Reaction Stoichiometry
11Beer's Law Investigations
12Colligative Properties of Solutions
13Long Term Water Monitoring
14Vapor Pressure and Heat of Vaporization Investigations
15Acid-Base Properties of Household Products
16The Effect of Acid Deposition on Aqueous Systems
17Acid-Base Titrations
18Conductimetric Titrations
19Oxidation-Reduction Titrations
20Investigating Voltaic Cells
21Baking Soda and Vinegar Investigations Revisited
22Reaction Rates
23Enzyme Activity
24Sugar Fermentation by Yeast
25Nuclear Radiation

Investigation 22 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry Lab Book

<i>Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry</i> book cover

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