Stoichiometry Exploring a Student-Friendly Method of Problem Solving

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1 Stoichiometry Exploring a Student-Friendly Method of Problem Solving Stoichiometry comes in two forms: composition and reaction. If the relationship in question is between the quantities of each element with a compound it is called composition stoichiometry. If the relationship in question is between quantities of substances as they undergo a chemical reaction it is called reaction stoichiometry. In plain English, if you have to calculate just about anything to do with moles of chemical quantities, we collectively call those computations stoichiometry. THE MOLE CONCEPT To be successful in solving stoichiometry problems you must be familiar with the following terms and their meaning: mole -- the number of C atoms in exactly 12.0 grams of 12 C; "mole" is also a number, 6.02 x 10 23, just as the word "dozen" means 12 and "couple" means 2. Avogadro's number, n -- is equal to 6.02 x which is the number of items in a mole of anything. molar mass, mm -- the mass of one mole of particles in grams; the sum of the atomic masses in a chemical formula. When calculating be sure to multiply the atomic mass of each element by the subscript following that element. The molar mass for H 2 O is 2(1.01 g/mol for hydrogen) g/mol for oxygen = g/mol of water molecules. THE MOLE MAP The mole map provides a quick an easy way to calculate any quantity related to the number of moles. Learn to reproduce this map (in other words, memorize it) so that you may use it as a problem-solving tool when faced with stoichiometry problems. Notice that the number of moles is always in the center of the map which means when converting moles into any other unit you must multiply the number of moles by the conversion factor next to the arrow. The conversion factors included on this map will allow you to convert the number of moles to either the number of particles, mass of matter in grams, or liters of gas at standard temperature and pressure, STP (1 atm pressure and 273K). Simply remember to divide by the conversion factor when going against the arrows (to arrive at the number of moles) and multiply by the appropriate conversion factor when going in the direction of the arrows. Molar Mass 6.02 x

2 EXAMPLE 1: Complete the following table using the mole map and a periodic table. Your teacher has the correct answers. Round each molar mass to two decimal places and calculate all other values to three significant figures. Substance MM Number of Moles Mass in Grams Number of Particles Liter of STP carbon dioxide 3.00 oxygen 64.0 methane 6.25 nitrogen 9.50x Now that you understand how to use the mole map, you must realize that successful stoichiometry problem solving requires that you have demonstrated proficiency in the following individual skills: Correctly writing chemical formulas--this requires knowledge of your polyatomic ions and being able to use the periodic table to deduce what you have not had to memorize. Correctly calculating molar masses from a chemical formula. Correctly balancing chemical equations. SOLVING STOICHIMETRY PROBLEMS This method will use a table to help you organize your thoughts and focus on the task at hand. Each time you embark upon solving a reaction stoichiometry problem, reproduce the row headings found below and place them on the left side of your paper as shown: Molar Mass: Balanced Eq'n: mole:mole # of moles: amount: We will work through Example 2 and add the appropriate information to your table. Molar Mass: Bal Eq: mole:mole # of moles: amount:

3 EXAMPLE 2: A. What mass of oxygen will react with 96.1 grams of propane? (Notice neither the chemical formulas nor the balanced equation were provided. You will have to supply those.) 1. Write a chemical equation. Double check to be sure you have the correct chemical formulas! 2. Calculate the molar masses and write them in parentheses above the formulas--soon you will figure out you do not have to do this for every reactant and product, just those dealt with in the question. 3. Balance the chemical equations using coefficients. Do not attempt to change the subscripts! 4. Look at the coefficients in the balanced equation. These numbers ARE the mole:mole ratio. Re-write them under the balanced equation so they are easy to see. 5. Next re-read the problem and look for some information about a given amount of one of the substances-- in this example its 96.1 g of propane. 6. Use the mole map to calculate the number of moles of something. Start at 96.1 grams, divide (against the arrow) by molar mass to get the # of moles of propane. 7. USE the mole:mole ratio to find the moles of EVERYTHING! If 1 = 2.18 mol propane, then moles of oxygen equals 5(2.18) or 10.9 moles etc.(if you found the number of moles for something that has a coefficient other than "1", just divide by the coefficient it has and then multiply by the new coefficient.) Leave everything in your calculator--we only rounded to save space! 8. Re-read the problem to determine which amount you are seeking. First, we'll find the mass of oxygen since that's what the problem asked moles x g/mol = 349 g oxygen. THE BEST PART OF THIS METHOD COMPARED TO DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS: B. What if part (b) of example 2 asked for liters of CO 2 at STP? Simply take the number of moles of CO 2 from the table and use the mole map to solve for the liters of gas at STP. Start in the middle of the mole map with 6.54 moles and multiply by 22.4 L/mol to determine that 146 L of CO 2 gas is produced at STP. C. What if part (c) asked how many water molecules are produced? Simply multiply the number of moles of water 8.72 mol x 6.02 x to determine that 5.25 x molecules of water were produced.

4 CALCULATIONS INVOLVING LIMTING REACTANTS Ever notice how hot dogs are sold in packages of 10 and the buns come in packages of 8? The bun is the limiting reactant and limits hot dog production to 8 when one package of each is purchased. The limiting reactant (or reagent) is the one that is (completely) consumed first in a chemical reaction. Plan of Attack for Limiting Reactants: 1. You have to recognize that you are dealing with a limiting reactant problem and you need a plan of attack! Your clue is that you are given TWO starting amounts of matter. 2. Calculate the number of moles. i. Set up your table like before, only now you have been given TWO initial amounts and must calculate the number of moles of BOTH substances to get started. 3. Divide each number of moles by its coefficient in the balanced equation. i. The limiting reactant is the smaller value. ii. Be sure to cross out the original amount given for the reactant in excess. iii. Also cross out the number of moles you calculated for the reactant in excess. 4. Recalculate the number of moles for the reactant in excess using the mole:mole ratio and the actual number of moles of the limiting reactant. EXAMPLE 3: The Haber process synthesizes ammonia, from the reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen gases and is often used for fertilizer production. The nitrogen gas is drawn from the atmosphere while the hydrogen gas is obtained by the reaction of methane and water vapor. It is carried out at 250 atm and 400 C in the presence of a catalyst. The process ultimately saved millions from starvation. The reaction is shown below: N 2 (g) + 3H 2 (g) 2NH 3 (g) Suppose 25.0 kg of nitrogen reacts with 5.00 kg of hydrogen to form ammonia. (a) Calculate the maximum mass of ammonia that can be produced. (b) Identify the limiting reactant. Show calculations to justify your answer. (c) Calculate the mass of the reactant that is in excess. (Don t look at the bottom yet, the answer is down there.) Molar Mass: Bal Eq: mole:mole # of moles: amount: Divide each number of moles by its coefficient. Compare the simplified moles values and select the smaller number of moles as the limiting amount, which in turn, determines the limiting reactant. N 2 has a coefficient of one already, so just focus on the 892 moles present. For H 2, your focus becomes 2, = 825 moles, which is smaller than the number of N 2 moles, so H 2 is your limiting reagent.

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