chm 113

timer Asked: Sep 13th, 2013
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Question Description

The term limiting reactant refers to ‘running out’ of one reactant before another in a chemical reaction.  Your book uses the analogy of making sandwiches.  Think of another analogy for limiting reactant from your daily life

Tutor Answer

School: University of Maryland

A limiting reactant is like a substance that there is less of and will be used up all the way in the reaction, and stops the reaction from going any further because there is only so much of the limiting reactant.

1.An example would be like if you are baking cookies, you have enough eggs to make 20 cookies, but only enough flour to make 10 cookies. Flour is the limiting reactant, because you have enough eggs, but you'd have to make only 10 cookies becuase you don't have enough flour for the 20 cookies!

2.Imagine you are on the highway in the winter and you realize that your heat is not working. You probably can drive faster and get home. However if you run out of gas and your car cannot run anymore. Therefore, gas is a limiting reactant. You cannot run your car without gas.

3.There is a blackout in your neighborhood. There are 3 flashlights and 5 AA batteries in the house. Each flashlight needs 2 batteries meaning we need 6 in total. In this case the AA batteries would be the limiting reactant.

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