# What is the limiting reactant in the following reaction? {eq}2C + 2H_2O \to 1CH_4 + 1CO_2 {/eq}.

## Question:

What is the limiting reactant in the following reaction?

{eq}2C + 2H_2O \to 1CH_4 + 1CO_2 {/eq}.

## Limiting Reactant

A balanced chemical reaction will tell us how much of quantities of reactants is needed to produce the desired amount of products. The reactants need not be of the same mass or have the same number of moles. The stoichiometry of the reaction will tell us how much of a reactant reacts with an another.

It may sometimes happen that some of the reactants are present in excess. In such a case, the other reactant may get fully used up while the one in excess would have some quantity remaining unreacted. This reactant which gets fully used up and limits the chemical reaction is called as the limiting reactant. The one present in excess is called the excess reactant.

In order to determine which is the limiting reactant, the first step is to balance the chemical equation and observe the stoichiometry in order to see how many moles of each reactant is needed for the reaction to occur with no remnant reactants. Find the ratio of the moles of the reactants.

Now, calculate how many moles of reactants are actually being used from the data given and compute the ratio of the same. Compare the two ratios to see which reactant gets consumed fully thereby limiting the chemical reaction. This would be the limiting reactant.