How are limiting reactants formed?

1 Answer
Feb 9, 2017


They are not so much #"formed"#; they simply exist as part of the starting conditions of the reaction.


We can represent the combustion of a #12*g# mass of carbon in a furnace:

#C(s) + O_2(g) rarr CO_2(g)#.

We don't need to measure the dioxygen gas that reacts with the carbon; in fact it would be inconvenient to measure it. Nevertheless, we know the molar quantity of carbon reacts, and we know that a #32.0*g# mass of dioxygen gas reacts with it to give what mass of carbon dioxide?

Now, essential to a calculation of yield, and limiting reactant, is a stoichiometrically balanced equation. What does this mean in this context?