How to Find a Q10 Temperature Coefficient

Written by dan howard
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How to Find a Q10 Temperature Coefficient
A Q10 temperature coefficient indicates the change in rate of a chemical reaction when the temperature changes by 10 degrees Celsius. (calculator image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com)

A Q10 temperature coefficient is a unitless measurement that indicates the factor by which a chemical reaction's rate increases for every 10 degree Celsius rise in temperature. If the reaction operates completely independently of the observed temperature, the temperature coefficient will be exactly 0. If the rate of the reaction increases as the temperature increases, the temperature coefficient will be greater than 1; if the reaction rate decreases as the temperature increases, the coefficient will be less than 1.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the rate of your chemical process at one temperature point. Record the temperature using either the Celsius or Kelvin temperature scale.

  2. 2

    Measure the rate of the chemical process at a second temperature point. Again, record the temperature in either Celsius or Kelvin.

  3. 3

    Divide the rate of the process at the second temperature point by the rate of the process at the first temperature point. This calculation yields a ratio of the process rates at the different temperatures.

  4. 4

    Subtract the temperature observed during the first measurement from the temperature observed during the second measurement. Divide the number 10 by this difference in temperature. This calculation yields an index of the observed temperature difference.

  5. 5

    Raise the ratio of the process rates to a power equal to the index of temperature difference you just calculated. The resulting number is the temperature coefficient for your chemical reaction.

    For example, if dividing the two process rates yields a ratio of two, and the temperature difference index calculation results in the number four, you would compute the temperature coefficient by raising two to the fourth power. In this example, the temperature coefficient is 16.

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