What happens to mass during chemical and physical changes?

1 Answer
Jan 2, 2017

Not a lot......................


In every chemical and (non-nuclear) physical process EVER observed, mass is CONSERVED. That is, if you start with #10*g# of reactant, from all sources, AT MOST you can get #10*g# of product. In practice you are not even going to get that, because losses always occur on handling, and every step in a synthesis will remove a proportion of product.

Organic chemists, who regularly perform multi-step natural product syntheses, are well aware of these problems. They might start out with kilos of starting material, but in a multistep synthesis, it would not take too many steps, even with +80% yields, before they are dealing with milligram quantities.