Percentage yield and atom economy

Percentage yield and atom economy


• The atom economy of a reaction is the percentage of atomic mass of useful products in a reaction. It is calculated by: AtomEconomyAtom\;Economy \; (%)=AtomicmassofusefulproductsTotalatomicmassofproducts100\;= \frac{Atomic\;mass\;of\;useful\;products}{Total\;atomic\;mass\;of\;products} * 100

• A high atom economy means that most of what the chemical process makes is useful! In the same way, a low atom economy tells you that a reaction is mostly producing unwanted waste products.

The atom economy is used to show an efficient reaction that makes lots of valuable chemicals and not much waste product that will require disposal.

• A quick tip – reactions with a single product have a 100% atom economy because the only chemical being produced is the desired product.

• The percentage yield of a reaction is the mass of products formed as a percentage of how much could have been formed given the mass of reactants used.

• A low percentage yield means that not much of the reactants you used has become products. A high percentage yield therefore means that a lot of the reactant chemicals you used successfully reacted to make the products.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between the two! Atom economy is about how wasteful the reaction is, and yield is about how much reactant was successfully converted to products!

In this lesson, we will learn:
• To understand the definitions of atom economy and percentage yield and the difference between them.
• To calculate atom economy and percentage yield from example chemical reactions.
• To explain the importance of atom economy as a chemist when planning chemical reactions and processes.
  • 1.
    Why do chemists do chemical reactions?
    Things that happen during a chemical reaction.

    The definitions of atom economy and percentage yield.

    The difference between them.

    Environmental and economic chemistry.

  • 2.
    Water can be produced by reaction of hydrogen and oxygen gas according to this equation:
    2 H2+_2 + O2_2 →2 H2_2O
    What is the atom economy of this reaction?

    If the reaction was performed and 150 g was the theoretical yield of water and the actual yield was only 92 g, what is the percentage yield?

  • 3.
    The reaction to make iron metal by reduction uses carbon. CO2_2 is an unwanted side-product. The reaction is as follows:
    2 Fe2_2 O3+_3 + 3 C→3 CO2+_2 + 4 Fe
    What is the atom economy of this reaction?

    280 g of Fe2_2O3_3 was used in this reaction and 104 g of Fe metal was collected. Calculate the theoretical yield and then the percentage yield of this reaction.

    This reaction was done again and a percentage yield of 90% was achieved this time. If 250 g of Fe was collected this time, how much Fe2_2O3_3 was used up?

  • 4.
    Magnesium reacts with hydrochloric acid as shown in the following equation:
    Mg+ + 2 HCl→MgCl2+_2 +H2_2
    If this reaction was performed to make hydrogen gas, what would be the atom economy?

    55 g of Mg metal was used in this reaction with HCl in excess. Only 4.21 g of H2_2 gas was produced from this reaction. What is the percentage yield of this reaction?

    Hydrogen gas could also be made by electrolysis of water, in the following reaction:
    2 H2_2 O→2 H2+_2 + O2_2

    Find the atom economy of this reaction. Is it a better or worse way to make hydrogen than reacting magnesium with hydrochloric acid?