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Chemistry LibreTexts

8: Quantities in Chemical Reactions

  • Page ID
    182680
  • So far, we have talked about chemical reactions in terms of individual atoms and molecules. Although this works, most of the reactions occurring around us involve much larger amounts of chemicals. Even a tiny sample of a substance will contain millions, billions, or a hundred billion billions of atoms and molecules. How do we compare amounts of substances to each other in chemical terms when it is so difficult to count to a hundred billion billion? Actually, there are ways to do this, which we will explore in this chapter. In doing so, we will increase our understanding of stoichiometry, which is the study of the numerical relationships between the reactants and the products in a balanced chemical reaction.

    • 8.1: Climate Change - Too Much Carbon Dioxide
      Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. In 2015, CO2 accounted for about 82.2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Carbon dioxide is naturally present in the atmosphere as part of the Earth's carbon cycle (the natural circulation of carbon among the atmosphere, oceans, soil, plants, and animals).
    • 8.2: Stoichiometry
      Chemical equations also provide us with the relative number of particles and moles that react to form products. In this section you will explore the quantitative relationships that exist between the quantities of reactants and products in a balanced equation. This is known as stoichiometry. Stoichiometry, by definition, is the calculation of the quantities of reactants or products in a chemical reaction using the relationships found in the balanced chemical equation.
    • 8.3: Mole-to-Mole Conversions
      Previously, you learned to balance chemical equations by comparing the numbers of each type of atom in the reactants and products. The coefficients in front of the chemical formulas represent the numbers of molecules or formula units (depending on the type of substance). Here, we will extend the meaning of the coefficients in a chemical equation.
    • 8.4: Making Molecules: Mole to Mass (or vice versa) and Mass-to-Mass Conversions
      We have used balanced equations to set up ratios, now in terms of moles of materials, that we can use as conversion factors to answer stoichiometric questions, such as how many moles of substance A react with so many moles of reactant B. We can extend this technique even further. Recall that we can relate a molar amount to a mass amount using molar mass. We can use that ability to answer stoichiometry questions in terms of the masses of a particular substance, in addition to moles.
    • 8.5: Limiting Reactant and Theoretical Yield
      In all the examples discussed thus far, the reactants were assumed to be present in stoichiometric quantities with none of the reactants was left over at the end of the reaction. Often reactants are present in mole ratios that are not the same as the ratio of the coefficients in the balanced chemical equation. As a result, one or more of them will not be used up completely but will be left over when the reaction is completed.
    • 8.6: Limiting Reactant, Theoretical Yield, and Percent Yield from Initial Masses of Reactants
      Chemists need a measurement that indicates how successful a reaction has been. This measurement is called the percent yield. The limiting reagent is that reactant that produces the least amount of product. Mass-mass calculations can determine how much product is produced and how much of the other reactants remain.
    • 8.7: Enthalpy Change is a Measure of the Heat Evolved or Absorbed
      A chemical reaction or physical change is endothermic if heat is absorbed by the system from the surroundings. In the course of an endothermic process, the system gains heat from the surroundings and so the temperature of the surroundings decreases. The quantity of heat for a process is represented by the letter q . The sign of q for an endothermic process is positive because the system is gaining heat. A chemical reaction or physical change is exothermic if heat is released by the system.