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If you are given the initial concentration of one of two reactants in a reaction, is the only reason why we cannot use molar ratios to determine the initial concentration of the other reactant because of the possibility that one of them is a limiting reactant? Or are there more reasons to this?
We can’t determine the initial concentration of the other reactant based off of one reactant because the moles are used for equilibrium. The initial concentrations could range from anything. This is my train of thought but I’m not completely sure.
The moles of a substance used in a reaction may differ from the number of moles of the substance actually found in the solution. We cannot assume the concentration of a reactant based upon the concentration of another reactant because we have no idea how much of it was actually added to the solution. For instance, in the equation NH3(aq) + H2O(l) <--> NH4+(aq) + OH-(aq), even if we know that one mole of NH3 is present in the solution, it does not mean that there is only one mole of water present in the solution. In fact, the reaction clearly takes place in water as evidenced by the aqueous reactant and products.
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