posted by Jack on .
Ethanol (C2H5OH) is synthesized for industrial use by the following reaction, carried out at very high pressure.
C2H4(g) + H2O(g) C2H5OH(l)
What is the maximum amount of ethanol (in grams) that can be produced when 1.0 kg of ethylene (C2H4) and 0.014 kg of steam are placed into the reaction vessel?
This is a limiting reagent problem. How do I know that? Because amounts of BOTH reactants are given. I solve these problems by solving two stoichiometry problems. First I use 1000g ethylene and all of the steam needed and calculate moles ethanol produced. Then I use 14 g steam and all of the ethylene needed and calculate the moles ethanol produced. There is a different answer produced and both answers can't be correct; however, in limiting reagent problems the smaller value is ALWAYS the correct one and the reagent producing that value is the limiting reagent. Here is a worked example of a stoichiometry problem. Just follow the steps. Post your work if you get stuck.