Limiting Reactant

Limiting Reactant - The reactant in a chemical reaction that limits the amount of product that can be formed. The reaction will stop when all of the limiting reactant is consumed. Excess Reactant - The reactant in a chemical reaction that remains when a reaction stops when the limiting reactant is completely consumed. The excess reactant remains because there is nothing with which it can react.

No matter how many tires there are, if there are only 8 car bodies, then only 8 cars can be made. Likewise with chemistry, if there is only a certain amount of one reactant available for a reaction, the reaction must stop when that reactant is consumed whether or not the other reactant has been used up. Example Limiting Reactant Calculation: A 2.00 g sample of ammonia is mixed with 4.00 g of oxygen. Which is the limiting reactant and how much excess reactant remains after the reaction has stopped? First, we need to create a balanced equation for the reaction:
4 NH3(g) + 5 O2(g)4 NO(g) + 6 H2O(g)

Next we can use stoichiometry to calculate how much product is produced by each reactant. NOTE: It does not matter which product is chosen, but the same product must be used for both reactants so that the amounts can be compared.

The reactant that produces the lesser amount of product: in this case the oxygen. Next, to find the amount of excess reactant, we must calculate how much of the non-limiting reactant (oxygen) actually did react with the limiting reactant (ammonia).

We're not finished yet though. 1.70 g is the amount of ammonia that reacted, not what is left over. To find the amount of excess reactant remaining, subtract the amount that reacted from the amount in the original sample.

1. A sample contains 27.1 g of calcium oxide. How many moles of calcium oxide are in the sample? NOTE: Use the Periodic Table to find the molecular mass (grams per mole) 2. How many atoms are in 0.652 mol of iron? NOTE: A mole is by definition 6.0220 x 1023 particles which can generally be rounded to 6.02 x 1023. 3. How many liters does 3.8 moles of O2 occupy at STP (standard temperature and pressure)? NOTE: At STP, 1 mole of any gas = 22.4L. STP is 273K (0C) and 1 atm. 4. A solution of NaCl has a molarity of 0.549 M. How many moles are in 350. mL of this solution? NOTE: Molarity is MOLES per LITER. The volume in milliliters must be converted to Liters. 5. How many grams of sodium hydroxide are needed to make 250. mL of a 0.200 M solution?

6. How many grams of carbon dioxide are there in a container with a volume of 4.50L at STP?

7. How many moles of nitrogen are there in a 7.45 mol sample of ammonium phosphate?

8. If 120. g of propane, C3H8, is burned in excess oxygen, how many grams of water are formed?

9. 90.0 g of FeCl3 reacts with 52.0 g of H2S. What is the limiting reactant? What is the mass of HCl produced? What mass of excess reactant remains after the reaction? NOTE: The limiting reactant is the reactant that limits the amount of product that can be formed and is completely consumed during the reaction. The excess reactant is the reactant that is left over once the reaction has stopped due to the limiting reactant.

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