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Reaction rate. Calcium carbonate being dropped into beakers of hydrochloric acid. At left the carbonate is powdered, at right it is a piece of marble. The powder reacts much more vigorously than the large single piece, seen by the rapid generation of carbon dioxide gas. The smaller the particle size, the larger the surface area per unit mass. This means more of the carbonate is in contact with the acid at any given time and thus the reaction rate is higher.
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