With the background that we have built in this course, thus far, we can now approach a more quantitative view of chemistry. While the notion of chemistry and math (together in the same room) may make you want to scream, we will see in this chapter that concepts such as chemical stoichiometry and mass balance are not overwhelming and can be approached using the same problem-solving algorithms that we have mastered in previous chapters. Once the concept of stoichiometric balance has been mastered, we will finally tackle limiting reactants. Limiting reactant problems may appear challenging, but we will see it is the same calculation that we do routinely… we simply have to do the calculations twice.
- 6.1: An Introduction to Stoichiometry
- Stoichiometry… what a wonderful word! It sounds so complex and so chemical. In fact, it’s a fairly simple concept; stoichiometry is the relationship between the molar masses of chemical reactants and products in a given chemical reaction.
- 6.3: Mass Calculations
- The methods described in the previous section allow us to express reactants and products in terms of moles, but what if we wanted to know how many grams of a reactant would be required to produce a given number of grams of a certain product? This logical extension is, of course, trivial!
- 6.4: Percentage Yield
- Stoichiometric calculations will give you a theoretical yield for a reaction; the yield that you should obtain assuming that the reaction proceeds with 100% efficiency and that no material is lost in handling. The amount of material that you isolate from a given reaction is called the actual yield and it is always less than the theoretical yield. The percentage of the theoretical yield that you actually isolate is called the percentage yield.
- 6.5: Limiting Reactants
- You may have noticed that, in many of the problems in this chapter, we stated that one reactant reacted with an excess of a second reactant. In all of these cases, the theoretical yield of product is determined by the limiting reactant in the reaction, and some of the excess reactant is left over.