The following notes were written for the previous IB syllabus (2009). The new IB syllabus for first examinations 2016 can be accessed by clicking the link below.

IB syllabus for first examinations 2016

Stoichiometry - 2009

  1.4.1 Calculate stoichiometric quantities and use these to determine experimental and theoretical yields. Mass is conserved in all chemical reactions. Given a chemical equation and the mass or amount (in moles) of one species, calculate the mass or amount of another species.
1.4.2 Determine the limiting reactant and the reactant in excess when quantities of reacting substances are given. Given a chemical equation and the initial amounts of two or more reactants:
identify the limiting reactant
calculate the theoretical yield of a product
calculate the amount(s) of the reactant(s) in excess remaining after the reaction is complete.

1.4.3 Apply Avogadro's law to calculate reacting volumes of gases.

1.1 Mole concept & Avogadro's constant

1 Mole is equivalent to 6.023 x 1023 (Avogadro's number) units of any substance.

Mass of 1 mole of atoms (monatomic) Relative atomic mass in grams Symbol used: RAM
Mass of 1 mole of a compound Relative molecular mass in grams Symbol used: Mr

Number of moles = mass
mass per mole


1.2 Formulae

Chemical formula is the number of each type of atom in the smallest viable unit of the substance.
Empirical formula is the simplest possible ratio of elements in a substance.

By definition the molecular formula will be an integral number of empirical formulae (x1, x2 etc)


Compound Sulphuric acid Ethane hydrogen peroxide propane Ethene
formula H2SO4 C2H6 H2O2 C3H8 C2H4
empirical formula H2SO4 CH3 HO C3H8 CH2

Calculation of percentage composition

1.3 Chemical Equations

The simplest ratio of the number of moles of reactants and products in a chemical reaction. The balancing numbers are known as the coefficients of the reaction. Use of balancing number is essential to fulfill the law of conservation of matter. The overall set of balancing coefficients of a chemical reaction is known as the reaction stoichiometry

State symbols: (s)-Solid , (l)-liquid, (g)-gas, (aq)-aqueous something dissolved in water. These should be included in all chemical reactions.

1.4 Mass relationships in chemical reactions

The ratio of two reacting masses will be always maintained for a specific chemical reaction. These mass ratios can be found from the stoichiometry (balancing numbers) of the equation and the molar masses of the reactants and products

Limiting reagent is a term used to describe the product which will completely react leaving other reactants unused.

The reactant left behind unused at the end of a reaction is said to be in excess

1.5 Solutions

Solvent - the dissolving medium (usually water)

Solute - the substance that is dissolved.

Solution - the above components when mixed together intimately so that the solid phase becomes indistinguishable from the liquid phase.

Concentration - the amount of solute per amount of solvent (units mols per dm3 (litre) or grams per litre)

Concentration = grams or moles/volume (also called Molarity)


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