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Mole Calculations part 2

Chemical Equations

Being able to use chemical equations alongside moles is probably the most common type of calculation
question that you will get at AS. There is a massive range of these questions but they have a few things in

In part 1, we introduced 3 different equations, which we are now going to use.a lot!

How to approach these questions

A lot of people are terrified of calculations, especially if they dont do maths. To get round this problem,
you need to have a steps to follow that are going to work in almost all examples.

if stuck, use one of the three equations from part 1 to calculate the moles. Remember moles are the
hub, and you only have three equations to pick from! Its not as bad as it seems!


1. Identify what you are trying to work out. This might seem obvious but when you get questions that
have a lot of information, it often causes students to panic. You need to narrow it down and pick out the
relevant information.

2. Look for what information they have given you. There will be information such as grams, volume or
moles given for one of the reactants or products.

3. Work out the number of moles from number 2. You will have to use one of the three equations from
part 1.

4. Look for the ratio between the species you are trying to work out and the species you are given
information on. The chemical equation gives you this. When I say ratio, look at the big numbers in front
of each species. You then multiply or divide the moles you worked out from part 3, depending on the
ratio. This then gives you the moles of the thing you are trying to work out.

5. Convert the moles from part 4 into whatever they are asking for in the question e.g. moles grams
or % or volume or concentration etc. You need to again use one of the three equations from the first part
of this tutorial.

watch out for the unit g dm-3. They might ask you to work out the concentration of something, which
you can do as normal, but at the end you need to convert moldm-3 gdm-3: simply multiply the
concentration by the molecular weight (RFM).

a very good habit to get into is to write down exactly what you have just worked out. Do not assume
the examiner knows what the numbers are. If you have for example, worked out the moles of
nitrogen, write down 0.07 moles of nitrogen, instead of just 0.07. It will save you marks.

We will look at a few examples to demonstrate these points.

Solids and solution
NiO(s) + 2HNO3(aq) Ni(NO3)2(aq) + H2O(l)

Calculate the volume of 2.00 mol dm-3 nitric acid, in cm3, required to neutralise 1.494g of NiO.

1. We want to work out the volume of nitric acid.

2. We are given information on NiO.

3. To work out the moles of NiO:

number of moles = 1.494/75.7

= 0.0197 moles of NiO

4. We have NiO and 2HNO3, therefore a 1:2 ratio between NiO and HNO3. So we must multiply by 2:

0.0197 x 2 = 0.0395 moles of HNO3

5. The question asked for the volume of HNO3, therefore we need to convert the moles into volume:

number of moles = concentration x volume

volume = number of moles/concentration

= 0.0395/2.00 = 0.0197 dm3

Need to multiply by 1000 to convert to cm3 = 0.0197 x 1000 = 19.73 cm3


2K(s) + 2H2O(l) 2KOH(aq) + H2(g)

0.2346g of potassium reacts with water, calculate the volume of gas produced in cm3.

1. We want the volume of gas produced, and in this example, H2 is the only gas.

2. We are given information on potassium. Therefore we can ignore anything else.

3. To calculate the moles of K:

number of moles = mass/RFM

moles = 0.2346/39

= 0.006 moles of K

4. From the equation we have 2K and H2. Therefore we have a 2:1 ratio between K and H2. This means to
get the moles of H2, we must divide by 2:

0.006/2 = 0.003 moles of H2

5. The question asked for volume of gas in cm3, so we convert moles volume of gas, which means we
need to use:

number of moles = volume/24

volume = number of moles x 24

= 0.072 dm3

But they want it in cm3, so we just have to multiply by 1000 72 cm3

you can x 1000 at the end as I did here or you can write the equation as volume/24000, its the same
thing at the end.

Gases and Avogadro

Ni(s) + 4CO(g) Ni(CO)4(g)

Calculate the volume of CO gas, in dm3, required to react with 5.87g of Ni.

1. We want the volume of CO.

2. We are given information on Ni.

3. Work out the moles of Ni:

Moles of Ni = 5.87/58.7 = 0.1 moles

4. The ratio of Ni:CO is 1:4, therefore we need to multiply by 4 0.1 x 4 = 0.4 moles of CO

5. We want the volume in dm3 of CO:

number of moles = volume/24

volume = number of moles x 24

= 0.4 x 24 = 9.6 dm3

The question then asked to calculate the number of carbon monoxide molecules in this volume of gas.
So, the big clue is the word number, it is telling you to use Avogadro! But they also said the word

If you remember back to part 1, when it asks for molecules, you can use:

Number of moles = number of particles/6.02x1023 (in this case the particles are

Number of molecules = 6.02x1023 x number of moles

= 0.4 (from above) x 6.02x1023

= 2.408x1023 CO molecules

if they had asked for how many atoms, we would have had to multiply our answer by two as there is
a C and an O atom.