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6 March, 00:05

Why is magnesium the limiting reactant in this experiment

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  1. 6 March, 00:38
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    Magnesium is being oxidized by the oxygen in the air to magnesium oxide. This is a highly exothermic combustion reaction, giving off intense heat and light. The reaction of the combustion of magnesium in oxygen is given below: 2Mg (s) + O2 (g) → 2MgO (s) The stoichiometric factor is 2 moles of magnesium are burned for every 1 mole of oxygen (2mol Mg/1mol O2). If the magnesium strip weighs 1 gram, then there is 0.04 mol of magnesium (1 gram divided by 24.3 grams/mol Mg) available in the reaction. The amount of oxygen required to completely react with the magnesium strip is: 0.04 mol Mg x (1 mol O2 / 2 mol Mg) = 0.02 mol O2 x 16 g/mol O2 = 0.32 gram O2. The magnesium will burn until consumed entirely. There is much more oxygen available in the atmosphere than needed to consume the magnesium. Thus the magnesium is the limiting reactant because it determines the amount of product formed.
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