. What is Limiting Reagent and what will be the best method to identify it.

Best Answer

In many situations one of the reactants is present in excess therefore some of this reactant is left over on completion of the reaction. For example, consider the combustion of hydrogen.


Suppose that 2 moles of H2 and 2 moles of O2 are available for reaction. It follows from the equation that only 1 mole of O2 is required for complete combustion of 2 moles of H2 ; 1 mole of O2 will, therefore, be left over on completion of the reaction. The amount of the product obtained is determined by the amount of the reactant that is completely consumed in the reaction. This reactant is called the limiting reagent. Thus, limiting reagent may be defined as the reactant which is completely consumed during the reaction.

In the above example H2 is the limiting reagent. The amount of H2O formed will, therefore, be determined by the amount of H2. Since 2 moles of H2 are taken, it will form 2 moles of H2O on combustion.

The best method to identify limiting reagent is by dividing given moles of each reactant by their stoichiometric coefficient, the one with least ratio is limiting reagent. It is particularly useful when number of reactants are more than two.


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