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110 Chapter Three Stoichiometry What will the container look like if the reaction between Nz(g) and Hz(g) proceeds to completion? Remember that each N z requires 3 Hz. Circling groups of reactants, we have H2 /.!2..---,\ -, / j \ /' \ I I ~ /\' I /r \\ I'l)) , \', ~j I I " <, v-'/ \ •l','--- ~ ~. -- N z NH3 Before the reaction After the reaction In this case, the hydrogen (H 2 ) is limiting. That is, the Hzmolecules are used up before all the N, molecules are consumed. In this situation the amount ofhydrogen limits the amount of product (ammonia) that can form-hydrogen is the limiting reactant. Some N z mole- cules are left over in this case because the reaction runs out of Hzmolecules first. To deter- mine how much product can be formed from a given mixture of reactants, we have to look for the reactant that is limiting-the one that runs out first and thus limits the amount of product that can form. In some cases, the mixture of reactants might be stoichiometric- that is, all reactants run out at the same time. In general, however, you cannot assume that
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