Stoichiometry

04 Jun Stoichiometry

A course taught at the high school and university level; chemistry intends to introduce a wide variety of concepts. The subject explains concepts such as stoichiometry, thermodynamics, nuclear chemistry, electrochemistry and many of the rudiments of physical chemistry. Stoichiometry is a term in chemistry that corelates relationships between reactants and products in a chemical reaction to produce desired qualitative data. The term stoichiometry was derived from Greek words, stoikhein which means element and metron meaning measure, thus translating into the measure of elements. The law of conservation of mass states that the total mass of reactants equates to the total mass of products leading the quantities of reactants and products to form a ratio of positive integers. The basis of stoichiometry lies within the law. In simple terms, it means that the amount of the product can be calculated, if the number of separate reactants is known. This concept is introduced in the first year where students tend to find it complicated in the start but get a hang of it eventually. Chemistry tuition entails teachers to explain the subject by defining equations in a simplistic manner. The number written in front of atoms, ions and molecules in a chemical reaction is the stoichiometric coefficient; an equation to balance the number of each element on both the reactant and product sides of the equation. For example, in the following balanced equation:

2Na+2HCl—2NaCl+H2

Here we can determine that 2 moles of HCl will react with 2 moles of Na to result in 2 moles of NaCl and 1 mole of H2. A balanced equation needs to satisfy 2 conditions:

  1. Elements on the left and right side of the equation needs to be equal.
  2. The charge on both sides of the equation must equalize. When balancing redox reactions, it is specifically important to pay attention to charge.
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