Limiting reactant or nutrient refers to the reactant that gets consumed/exhausted first during the reaction. Limiting reactant can be estimated by comparing the stoichiometric coefficients of reactants in a balanced equation. The ratio of these coefficients are the proportions in which the reactants will be consumed. Limiting reactant can be determined by comparing the ratio of moles of reactants with the ratio of respective coefficients.
You can find the limiting nutrient using our Free Material Balance sheet. Follow the below steps.
1) Open the material balance sheet. Enter the number of reactants. (We are only supporting two to three reactant systems.). Leave the products data as it is.
2. On the left hand side enter the reactant data. Enter the name of the reactant 1 in the first row.
Provide the elements that make up the reactant with number of atoms of each element present in one reactant molecule. For hydrochloric acid,
For benzoic acid,
Provide the stoichiometric coefficient of the reactant in the following row.
Reactant mass has to be provided in the following rows. If your reactant is pure then leave the “MASS FRACTION OF REACTANT’ entry empty. If its not the case then provide the weight fraction. Following example considers 100 Kg hydrochloric acid (80% by mass).
Provide details of other reactants in the same way. Once all the details are provided, the sheet might look like this(for two reactant systems). A process with 100 kg HCL (80% by mass) reacts with 200 kg NaOH (90% by mass) as reactants is shown below.
The limiting reactant will be displayed in green text. In the above example, HCl is limiting. (Neglect “Error” shown in the results and message table)