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# Reaction Stoichiometry for AP Chemistry

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Practice problems for these concepts can be found at:

As we have discussed previously, the balanced chemical equation not only indicates which chemical species are the reactants and the products, but also indicates the relative ratio of reactants and products. Consider the balanced equation of the Haber process for the production of ammonia:

N2(g) + 3H2(g) → 2 NH3(g)

This balanced equation can be read as: 1 nitrogen molecule reacts with 3 hydrogen molecules to produce 2 ammonia molecules. But as indicated previously, the coefficients can stand not only for the number of atoms or molecules (microscopic level), they can also stand for the number of moles of reactants or products. The equation can also be read as: 1 mol of nitrogen molecules reacts with 3 mol of hydrogen molecules to produce 2 mol of ammonia molecules. And if the number of moles is known, the number of grams or molecules can be calculated. This is stoichiometry, the calculation of the amount (mass, moles, particles) of one substance in a chemical reaction through the use of another. The coefficients in a balanced chemical equation define the mathematical relationship between the reactants and products, and allow the conversion from moles of one chemical species in the reaction to another.

Consider the Haber process above. How many moles of ammonia could be produced from the reaction of 20.0 mol of nitrogen with excess hydrogen?

Before any stoichiometry calculation can be done, you must have a balanced chemical equation!

You are starting with moles of nitrogen and want moles of ammonia, so we'll convert from moles of nitrogen to moles of ammonia by using the ratio of moles of ammonia to moles of nitrogen as defined by the balanced chemical equation:

The ratio of 2 mol NH3 to 1 mol N2 is called the stoichiometric ratio and comes from the balanced chemical equation.

Suppose you also wanted to know how many moles of hydrogen it would take to fully react with the 20.0 mol of nitrogen. Just change the stoichiometric ratio:

Notice that this new stoichiometric ratio also came from the balanced chemical equation.

Suppose instead of moles you had grams and wanted an answer in grams. How many grams of ammonia could be produced from the reaction of 85.0g of hydrogen gas with excess nitrogen?

In working problems that involve something other than moles, you will still need moles. And you will need the balanced chemical equation.

In this problem we will convert from grams of hydrogen to moles of hydrogen to moles of ammonia using the correct stoichiometric ratio, and finally to grams of ammonia. And we will need the molar mass of H2 (2.0158 g/mol) and ammonia (17.0307 g/mol):

Actually, you could have calculated the actual number of ammonia molecules produced if you had gone from moles of ammonia to molecules (using Avogadro's number):

In another reaction, 40.0 g of Cl2 and excess H2 are combined. HCl will be produced. How many grams of HCl will form?

H2(g) + Cl2(g) → 2 HCl(g)

Practice problems for these concepts can be found at:

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