In this video, we’re going to learn about the loss of mass in a chemical reaction, how it happens and why we measure this.
The total MASS of reactants will be the same as that of the products, as mass is always conserved in a chemical reaction.
But often in a reaction, not all of the products formed will stay in the reaction vessel. Some may be lost to the surroundings as a gas. So when gas escapes from a reaction vessel, you can observe that mass has been lost and this mass can be measured.
Measuring the loss of mass as a reaction occurs is important, because it can tell us the rate at which the reaction proceeds, which can be vital when it comes to producing chemicals in industry quickly and efficiently.
On the other hand, measuring the total loss of mass once a reaction has gone to completion can tell us whether the experiment has been successful and whether the reactants are pure.
To measure the loss of mass in a reaction, you can carry out the reaction on electronic scales. Record the initial mass, and then take recordings at regular intervals throughout the reaction.
You then can plot a graph of 'loss of mass' against 'time' from which you can then work out the rate of reaction. You can also predict the loss of mass from the chemical equation for the reaction, and then check this expected value against the results of the experiment. Both are important techniques used by chemists.
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