When chemicals react, the atoms inside them change into new molecules. But we usually only care about one of these new molecules, leaving the rest as waste. Atom economy is a way to measure how many atoms we actually use to make the desired product. It’s shown as a percentage of all the new molecules created.
In this article, we’ll explore atom economy and how it’s different from percentage yield. We’ll also explain why high atom economies matter in industry. Plus, we’ll show you how to calculate atom economy. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how to make chemical reactions more efficient and eco-friendly. And you’ll impress your chemistry teacher with your newfound knowledge of atom economy!
Atom economy is a useful tool that tells us how many of the atoms involved in a reaction actually end up becoming the desired product. The higher the atom economy, the more efficient the reaction is. This is because efficient reactions create less waste products, which is better for the environment. On the other hand, reactions with low atom economies are inefficient and produce more unwanted products, which can be harmful to the environment. By understanding atom economy, we can make chemical reactions more eco-friendly and efficient.
You might remember that percentage yield also measures the efficiency of a reaction. It tells us how much of our reaction successfully turned into a product. What’s the difference?
Percentage yield is a value that we get experimentally. It measures the efficiency of a reaction based on the actual results from an experiment. However, atom economy is theoretical. It measures the efficiency of a reaction based on the balanced equation.
Efficient reactions have high atom economies. A reaction with a high atom economy is important in industry because it: Uses fewer natural resources. Produces less waste. Is better for the environment. Makes production cheaper. Is more sustainable.
To calculate the atom economy for the production of Iron (Fe) in Jackie's experiment, we use the equation:
Atom Economy = Mr of Desired Product/∑ Mr of all the Products x 100
The molecular mass of Iron (Fe) is 56. So, the Mr of the desired product is 56 x 2 (since Jackie obtained 2 Fe atoms in the reaction) = 112.
The molecular mass of all the products is (56 x 2) + 3(12 + (16 x 2)) = 244.
Substituting these values in the equation, we get:
Atom Economy = 112/244 x 100 = 45.9%
This means that only 45.9% of the atoms in the reactants were used to produce the desired product. The remaining atoms formed other products or were wasted. This indicates that the reaction was not very efficient and could be improved.
In conclusion, atom economy is a useful tool to measure the efficiency of a chemical reaction. By calculating the atom economy, we can determine how many of the atoms in the reactants were used to produce the desired product. A high atom economy is important in industry because it uses fewer natural resources, produces less waste, and is better for the environment. By improving the atom economy, we can make chemical reactions more sustainable and cost-effective
How do you calculate atom economy?
You can calculate the atom economy of a reaction by using the equation below:atom economy = Mr of Desired Product/ ∑ Mr of all the Products x 100
How is atom economy different from percentage yield?
Percentage yield measures the efficiency of a reaction based on the actual results from an experiment. However, atom economy is theoretical and measures the efficiency of a reaction based on the balanced equation.
Why do industries want a high atom economy?
The atom economy tells us how efficient a reaction is. A reaction with a high atom economy is important for sustainability because it uses fewer natural resources and produces less waste. This means reactions with high atom economies are better for the environment. Products from an efficient reaction will be cheaper to produce.
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