Chemistry - Conversion of reactants
Conversion of reactants
Many chemical reactions do not proceed to completion. In many cases a
yield of product of 80 per cent or less of that theoretically available, on
the basis of complete reaction, is acceptable.
The nature of chemical reactions is such that 100 per cent conversion of
reactants to products is the exception rather than the norm.
However, reactions do not just stop before all of one or more of the
reactants is totally consumed. It is a matter of extending your
appreciation of chemical reactions and accepting that writing an equation
for a reaction that shows the reactants being converted into products does
not preclude the products being converted into the reactants.
Consider the equation for photosynthesis:
and the equation for respiration:
To all intents and purposes these equations are opposites. However, both
reactions do occur.
Things get interesting when opposite reactions occur in the same place at
the same time.
of product, i.e. get as high a percentage of reactants converted to
products as possible. This requires an enhanced understanding of the nature
of chemical reactions and the factors that can be used to control them.
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