Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 107

Fundamentals of Chemistry

Fall 2009

Lecture Notes: 29 September

© R. Paselk 2005


Stoichiometry Revisited - Quantitative Chemical Equations

Limiting Problems

Last time we looked at a limiting sandwich problem. Today let's try a chemistry problem.

Fe3O4 + 4 C right arrow 3 Fe + 4 CO

What is the maximum mass of Fe which could be made from 115.0 g Fe3O4 of and 24.00 g C?

Percent Yield

Another frequent question arising in chemical processes is the percent yield. This deals with the question of how effective was a given process in producing a product. Its an important consideration because chemical reactions rarely go completley to products. The maximum possible yield for a reaction is known as the Theoretical Yield, as we saw earlier. How do we determine how close to theoretical a reaction proceeds- th epercent yield.

Zn + 2H+ right arrow Zn2+ + H2(g)

Looking at the reaction above with 0.50 g of Zn reacting with an excess of acid, the maximum amount of hydrogen generated would be the theoretical yield:

For Zn limiting: (1 mole H2/1 mole Zn)(0.50 g Zn) / (65.39 g Zn/mol) = 7.646 x 10-3 mol H2

Now if the actual yield for a particular experiment turned out to be 6.75 x 10-3 mol, the percent yield would be calculated to be:

(6.75 x 10-3 mol)(100 %) / (7.6 x 10-3 mol) = 88.8% = 89%


Predicting Chemical Reactions

Solubility Rules

Solubility Rules

It is useful to remember some simple "rules" (really more like guidelines) to help in predicting reactions. For common compounds such as we see in general chemistry we can use the following rules:

  1. Nitrates (NO3-) are all soluble.
  2. Alkali metal (Li+, Na+, K+, Cs+, and Rb+) and ammonium (NH4+) salts are all soluble, with the exception of a few Lithium salts.
  3. Chloride, bromide, and iodide (Cl-, Br-, and I-) salts are generally soluble, except for the salts of silver, lead(II) and mercury(I) (Ag+, Pb2+ and Hg22+).
  4. Sulfates are soluble, except for the salts of barium {BaSO4}, lead(II) {PbSO4}, mercury(II) {HgSO4}, and calcium {CaSO4}.
  5. Most hydroxides are only slightly soluble (but see rule 2).
  6. Sulfides (S2-), carbonates (CO32-), phosphates (PO43-), and chromates (CrO42-) are only slightly soluble (but see rule 2).

Examples using these rules may be found in the Module

Activity Series

The elements listed below are listed by activity, those with higher activity will displace those of lower activity. That is the more active element gives its electrons to the less active, e.g. copper metal gives its electrons to silver ion resulting in the release of copper ion and the plating of silver as we discussed in class.

The ions are listed from most active (left) to least active (a table may be found in your text on p 177).

K, Ba, Sr, Ca, Na, Mg, Al, Mn, Zn, Cr, Fe, Cd, Co, Ni, Sn, Pb, H2, Sb, Bi, Cu, Ag, Hg, Pd, Pt, Au.

Most Reactive

H2 released in cold water










H2 released in steam














H2 released in acids











H2 not released

















Least Reactive


Note that thte elements more active than hydrogen will react with acids, while those less active do not (at least not with the protons - some acids have redox properties as well and so can react with low activity metals).

Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions

Law of Conservation of Energy:

Energy is neither created nor destroyed in chemical processes. The problem here of course is - What is energy? Energy is the capacity to do work. So what's work? Work occurs when an object (mass) is moved against a force. Some common forms of energy important to our study include:

Another form of energy we need to be familiar with is:

Note that these forms of energy are readily interconverted.

State Functions

Kinetic energy, potential energy, pressure, and volume are all examples of State Functions. They are all properties that depend only on the current state - they are all independent of the path used to reach this state.

The First Law of Thermodynamics

The First Law of Thermodynamics says that the energy of the Universe is constant. Thus it is another name for the law of conservation of energy. Symbolically it is written:

E = q + w

where E is energy, q is heat, and w is work.

Note that according to this law we can still do things with energy, its just that they are always compensated. (Thus as the Universe expands, work is done against gravity and the heat in the Universe decreases as manifested by a decreasing average temperature.)

Generally in thermodynamics we refer to systems. A system is simply a portion of the universe we wish to work with. For the expression

DeltaE = q + w

where E is the internal energy (the total KE and PE) of the system.

q = the quantity of heat exchanged by the system:

Notice in each case endo- and exo- are in respect to the system, not the surroundings. For example, a fire is exothermic, because heat comes out of the fire - the fuel loses heat, even though you (part of the surroundings) may gain some of it.

Keep in mind that heat always flows naturally from hotter to cooler systems. Energy must be used up to move heat in the opposite direction, as in a refrigerator.

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Last modified 28 September 2009