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Problem: Nitrogen monoxide and oxygen react to form nitrogen dioxide. Consider the mixture of NO and O2 shown in the accompanying diagram. The blue spheres represent N, and the red ones represent O.What is the limiting reactant in this case?

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We are asked to determine the limiting reactant for the reaction of nitrogen monoxide (NO) with oxygen (O2) to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2).


The reaction is: NO + O2 → NO2


This equation is not yet balanced. To balance it, we have to make sure that the number of elements on both sides is equal.


Balancing the chemical reaction: 

1. Balance the non-oxygen and non-hydrogen elements first: N

NO + O2NO2

(N: balanced)


2. Balance Oxygen

NO + 1/2 O2 → NO2

(O: balance by adding 1/2 in O2)


Balanced Equation: NO + 1/2 O2 → NO2


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Problem Details

Nitrogen monoxide and oxygen react to form nitrogen dioxide. Consider the mixture of NO and O2 shown in the accompanying diagram. The blue spheres represent N, and the red ones represent O.

5 O2 and 8 OH molecules.

What is the limiting reactant in this case?

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Limiting Reagent concept. If you need more Limiting Reagent practice, you can also practice Limiting Reagent practice problems.