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I was curious if there are any situations under which the actual product you get from an experiment is greater than the theoretical yield (which would give you over 100% yield.) I've read that this can be the case if a product is still damp when weighed. Can you guys think of any others?
If the actual yield is greater than the theoretical, one reason could be that the math wasn't done right and you should check your work. Another case could be human error, like accidentally mixing something else with the product.
Measuring errors in which compounds are thought to weigh less than they actually do could contribute to a greater yield than calculated. Certain chemicals also "age" with time and can produce byproducts that increase mass that may not be considered in calculations. Generally, any information that is used in calculations (temp., pressure, etc.) can potentially be slightly inaccurate which would again lead to a greater yield.
It would be impossible to have an actual yield greater than the theoretical yield if you used the current amount of reactants. Due to the law of conservation of mass, the amount of products made should be equal to the amount of reactants. However, this is an extremely idealized situation and in a real lab setting the actual yield will most likely be less than the theoretical yield due to factors like leftovers on the container, impurities in the reactants, inaccurate measuring tools, etc.
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