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Stoichiometry and Limiting Reagent

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    Purpose and Theory

    The purpose of the experiment is to study and apply the processes of stoichiometric calculation on a controlled chemical reaction. We will be adding variable amounts of reactants in a chemical reaction in order to demonstrate the effect of limiting reagents. Based on the volumes of the reactants, and their respective molarities, we can calculate the theoretical yield of the reaction and compare it to the amount of products experimentally yielded.

    From the molarities of the solutions, the amount of moles can be calculated, and in turn fed into the balanced chemical equation to determine the theoretical yield.

    Results, Discussion, and Conclusion

    After concluding the experiment, I learned that the products of a chemical reaction can be created in precise amounts when the masses of the products can be measured to exact standards.

    Further, I learned more about the molarity of aqueous solutions, and how that quantity, along with the volume of the solution, can be manipulated to find the exact number of moles in a given volume. In this case, we were given aqueous solutions of NaOH and CaCl2 in known molarities and then had them react with one another to yield a precipitate of Ca(OH)2. The precipitate was filtered out of the remaining aqueous solution of NaCl, dried, and finally weighed. We compared this measured value against the theoretical yield of product, which we calculated using simple principles of stoichiometry.

    In our case, all three tests yielded more mass than should have occurred. We attribute this excess to inaccuracy in measurement, both of the volumes of reactants and of the masses of the products filtered. It is possible that the water had not completely evaporated from the filtered precipitate, which would add excess mass. By dealing with such small quantities of reagents, any small inaccuracy in measurement creates a large difference in actual yield from theoretical yield.

    Through simple molar calculations, using the coefficients in the balanced chemical equation (2NaOH(aq) + CaCl2(aq) 2NaCl(aq) + Ca(OH)2(s)), the limiting reagent could be determined from the volumes of reactants used. The first and the third tests turned out as expected, NaOH and CaCl2 respectively being the limiting reagents. In the second test, according to our calculations, the products should have completely reacted, leaving pure water after filtration. In the test, the addition of NaOH to the filtered solution yielded more precipitate, which should not have occurred if the filtrate was pure water.

    We hypothesize that either the products were not measured in exact quantities, or in the test tube the products did not completely react with one another, leaving some CaCl2 in solution. In conclusion, I found that by measuring reactants accurately, the products of a chemical reaction can be created to precise standards. In our third trial, we were able to achieve a yield within six percent of the theoretical yield. Only through accurate calculations and measurements can the yield of products be determined before a reaction occurs.

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    Stoichiometry and Limiting Reagent. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    How do you find the limiting reactant using stoichiometry?
    Determine which reactant is limiting by dividing the number of moles of each reactant by its stoichiometric coefficient in the balanced chemical equation. Use mole ratios to calculate the number of moles of product that can be formed from the limiting reactant.
    What is limiting reagent Why is it essential in stoichiometric calculation?
    Limiting reagent is essential in stoichiometric calculation because of the following reasons: It gives the information about the given chemical reaction and helps in a number of chemical calculations. It helps to calculate a number of products formed.

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