How Surface Area Affects the Rate of a Chemical Reaction.

How does surface area affect a chemical reaction?
Surface area is the amount of material that comes in contact with other reactants. If a reactant is a solid, liquid, or gas the surface area will affect how fast it goes. The larger the surface area, the slower the reaction time will be. The smaller the surface area, the faster the reaction time. This is because two types of molecules can only bump into each other at the surface of a solid. So the larger the surface area of the solid, the faster the reaction will be.
Smaller objects have a bigger surface area than larger objects with the same mass. For example, take a loaf of bread and cut it into slices. Each time you cut a new slice, you get an extra surface onto which you can spread peanut butter and jelly. The thinner you cut the slices, the more slices you get and so the more peanut butter and jelly you can put on them.


Purchon, Nigel D. "Rates of Reactions." Gondar Design Scinece. N.p., 10 Nov. 2006. Web. 1 Mar. 2010. <>.