The key difference in between limiting reactant and excess reactant is that the limiting reactant have the right to limit the lot of final product produced, whereas excess reactant has no impact on the amount of last product.

A reactant is a compound the is consumed throughout a chemical reaction. A chemistry reaction entails reactants – part reactants in excess and also some in minimal amounts. The limiting reactant constantly decides the amount of last product formed after the completion of the reaction. The means, the limiting reactant borders the lot of last product, yet there is no such result by the excess reactant.

You are watching: What is the difference between a limiting reactant and an excess reactant


1. Overview and crucial Difference2. What is Limiting Reactant 3. What is Excess Reactant4. Next by next Comparison – Limiting Reactant vs excess Reactant in Tabular Form5. Summary

What is Limiting Reactant?

Limiting reactant is the reactant of a details chemical reaction which deserve to limit the development of the last product. Therefore, it decides exactly how much product we deserve to yield native the completion of the chemical reaction. Moreover, this reactant is completely consumed during the reaction. The reaction stops once all the limiting reactant is consumed. The is because the reaction stops once one reactant is missing.

Figure 01: If limiting reactant is B, and also the last product is C when excess reactant is A, the final reaction mixture contains A and also C.

By looking in ~ the stoichiometric relationship between this reactant and also the last product in a chemical equation, we have the right to determine just how much product is walk to it is in formed.

What is excess Reactant?

An overabundance reactant is the reactant that is existing in overfill in a reaction mixture. Therefore, after ~ the completion of the reaction, some amount of this reactant tho remains due to the fact that it is in excess. We have the right to observe the presence of overfill reactant in ~ the beginning of the reaction, at the progression, and also at the end as well. Occasionally the presence of an excess reactant is essential in identify an unknown amount of a specific substance that have the right to react with this excess reactant. For example, in titrimetric methods, we use an overfill reactant through a well-known amount and also after the perfect of the reaction. Here, we deserve to determine the lot of excess reactant still existing in the reaction mixture, come determine just how much that this reactant reacted with the unknown.

What is the Difference between Limiting Reactant and also Excess Reactant?

The limiting reactant and also the overfill reactant are important in a chemistry reaction. The an essential difference in between limiting reactant and excess reactant is the the limiting reactant deserve to limit the quantity of last product produced, whereas excess reactant has no result on the lot of last product.

Below infographic shows an ext facts on the difference in between limiting reactant and also excess reactant.

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Summary – Limiting Reactant vs overfill Reactant

The limiting reactant and the excess reactant are necessary in a chemistry reaction. A limiting reactant can limit the quantity of final product produced, whereas excess reactant has no result on the amount of final product. Therefore, this is the key difference in between limiting reactant and excess reactant


1. “Excess and Limiting Reagents.” Chemistry LibreTexts, Libretexts, 5 June 2019, accessible here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Limiting Reagent” By Brazosport college – Own job-related (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

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