Aqueous Solution Chemical Reaction Problem

Worked Chemistry Problems

Chromium (II) ion in aqueous solution
Chromium (II) ion in aqueous solution, made by reduction of chromic acid, demonstrating the pure blue color. Some zinc granules can be seen remaining on the bottom of the flask as black solids. Wikimedia Commons/LHcheM

This worked chemistry example problem demonstrates how to determine the amount of reactants needed to complete a reaction in an aqueous solution.


For the reaction:

Zn(s) + 2H+(aq) → Zn2+(aq) + H2(g)

a. Determine the number of moles H+ that are required to form 1.22 mol H2.

b. Determine the mass in grams of Zn that is required to form 0.621 mol of H2


Part A: You may wish to review the types of reactions that occur in water and the rules that apply to balancing aqueous solution equations. Once you have set them up, balanced equations for reactions in aqueous solutions work in exactly the same way as other balanced equations. The coefficients signify the relative number of moles of substances participating in the reaction.

From the balanced equation, you can see that 2 mol H+ is used for every 1 mol H2.

If we use this as a conversion factor, then for 1.22 mol H2:

moles H+ = 1.22 mol H2 x 2 mol H+ / 1 mol H2

moles H+ = 2.44 mol H+

Part B: Similarly, 1 mol Zn is required for 1 mol H2.

To work this problem, you need to know how many grams are in 1 mol of Zn. Look up the atomic mass for the zinc from the Periodic Table. The atomic mass of zinc is 65.38, so there are 65.38 g in 1 mol Zn.

Plugging in these values gives us:

mass Zn = 0.621 mol H2 x 1 mol Zn / 1 mol H2 x 65.38 g Zn / 1 mol Zn

mass Zn = 40.6 g Zn


a. 2.44 mol of H+ is required to form 1.22 mol H2.

b. 40.6 g Zn is required to form 0.621 mol of H2