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CHEMISTRY 12 – REACTION MECHANISMS & CATALYSTS WORKSHEET

1) Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in the decomposition of ozone (O3) by the following mechanism:

a) Write the net equation for the decomposition reaction. (1 mark)

2 O3 + sunlight ! 3 O2

b) Define the term catalyst and identify a catalyst in the above mechanism. (2 marks)

A catalyst is chemical species that speeds up a reaction by providing an alternate reaction


mechanism with lower activation energy. An example from the above mechanism would be NO.

c) Identify a reaction intermediate. (1 mark)

NO2 or O

d) What is the function of sunlight in this reaction? (1 mark)

Sunlight provides activation energy for the above reaction to occur


2) One of the reactions in the production of smog involves the oxidation of nitrogen monoxide. A
possible mechanism for this reaction is:
Step 1: CO + OH → CO2 + H
Step 2: H + O2 → HOO
Step 3: HOO + NO → OH + NO2
a) Write the balanced equation for the overall reaction. (2 marks)

NO + CO + O2 → NO2 + CO2

b) Identify all reaction intermediates. (1 mark)

H & HOO

c) Identify the catalyst. (1 mark)

OH
3) Consider the following two-step reaction mechanism:
step one: NO2 (g) + NO2 (g) → NO (g) + NO3 (g) slow

step two: NO3 (g) + CO (g) → CO2 (g) + NO2 (g) fast
Increasing the concentration of which substance would cause the greatest increase in reaction rate?
(1 mark)

NO2
4) Consider the following PE diagram for the uncatalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide:
2 H2O2 (l) → H2O (l) + O2 (g)

~
On the PE diagram, sketch a curve for the catalyzed decomposition of H2O2. (1 mark)

5) What happens to the activation energy as the temperature in a reacting system increases? (1 mark)

Since the addition of a catalyst is the only factor that changes the activation energy, increasing the
temperature has no effect on the activation energy

6) Consider the following overall reaction which is exothermic:

2 NO (g) + O2 (g) → 2 NO2 (g)

a) Complete the proposed two-step reaction mechanism. (2 marks)

N2O2 + O2 ! 2 NO2

b) Describe how adding a catalyst would affect the activation energy and ΔH for the overall
reaction? (2 marks)

Adding a catalyst would decrease the activation energy but have no effect on the ΔH
7) Consider the following overall reaction:

2 NO + 2 H2 → 2 H2O + N2

a) Explain why the reaction is likely to involve more than one step. (1 mark)

A successful collision between more than 2 molecules is unlikely. This 4 particle reaction would
be extremely unlikely to occur in 1 step.

b) A proposed mechanism for the reaction is:

Step 1: NO + H2 → N + H2O
Step 2: ?
Step 3: N 2 O + H2 → N 2 + H 2 O

i) Write the equation for Step 2. (2 marks)

NO + N → N2O

ii) Identify all reaction intermediates. (1 mark)

N & N2 O

8) Use the following diagram to answer the questions:

a) On the potential energy diagram left,


clearly label the
i) activation energy for the forward
reaction. (1 mark)
ii) heat of reaction, ΔH. (1 mark)
iii) energy of the activated complex in the
rate-determining step. (1 mark)
b) Is the reaction endothermic or exothermic
in the forward direction? (1 mark)
Endothermic