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One reactant will be completely used up before the others.
In our example, we would say that ice is the limiting reactant.
The ice is said to be "limiting" because it is the ingredient we would run out of first, which puts a limit on how much ice water we can make.
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The other reactants are partially consumed where the remaining amount is considered "in excess".
This example problem demonstrates a method to determine the limiting reactant of a chemical reaction.
Once we've determined how much of each product can be formed, it's sometimes handy to figure out how much of the excess reactant is left over.
This task can be accomplished by using the following formula: In our limiting reactant example for the formation of water, we found that we can form 2.75 moles of water by combining part of 1.75 moles of oxygen with 2.75 moles of hydrogen.
Now that you're a pro at simple stoichiometry problems, let's try a more complex one.
Using the recipe for ice water (1 glass of water 4 ice cubes = 1 glass of ice water), determine how much ice water we can make if we have 10 glasses of water and 20 ice cubes.