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Problem: Imagine you mix 16.05 g of methane (CH4) gas and 96.00 g of oxygen (O2) gas and then ignite the mixture. After a bright flash and a loud bang, some water droplets form on the inside of the reaction vessel.How many moles of carbon dioxide can you make?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to calculate the moles of carbon dioxide, COproduced by the reaction of 16.05 g of methane (CH4) gas and 96.00 g of oxygen (O2) gas.


For this problem, we need to do the following steps:


Step 1: Write and balance a chemical equation for the given reaction.

Step 2: Determine the moles of each reactant from the given mass

Step 3: Determine the limiting reactant and calculate the moles of CO2 formed.



Step 1: From the problem, assuming a complete combustion reaction occurs, the complete reaction is:


CH4 + O2 → CO2 + H2O


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


Balance C:C is balanced


CH4 + O2 → CO2 + H2O


Balance H: We have 4 H on the reactant side and 2 H on the product side – add a coefficient of 4 to H2O:


CH4 + O2 → CO2 + H2O


Balance O: We have 2 O on the reactant side and 2 + 8 = 10 O on the product side – add a coefficient of 5 to O2:


CH4 + O2 → CO2 + H2O

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Problem Details

Imagine you mix 16.05 g of methane (CH4) gas and 96.00 g of oxygen (O2) gas and then ignite the mixture. After a bright flash and a loud bang, some water droplets form on the inside of the reaction vessel.

How many moles of carbon dioxide can you make?

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.