Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Reaction Stoichiometry

Figure from experiment 10 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry


Stoichiometry is the study of quantitative relationships in chemical reactions. A balanced chemical reaction equation gives the mole ratios of the reactants and the products as coefficients. When some of the chemical formulas are not known, an experiment can be conducted to help determine the mole ratios.

Acetic acid (HC2H3O2) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) are the reactants in the acid-base reaction to be investigated in the Preliminary Activity. Sodium hydroxide neutralizes acetic acid according to the unbalanced and incomplete equation:

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It is possible to identify the coefficients of the reactants without knowing the products of the reaction. The process that you will use to determine the coefficients is called continuous variations. You will prepare a series of mixtures of the two reactants. Each mixture will have the same total volume and the same total number of moles of reactants. The reaction is exothermic, thus the mixture that generates the most heat energy will be the reaction that completely consumes both the reactants. You will use this mixture to establish the coefficients, and therefore the mole ratio of the reactants, for the reaction.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Temperature Probe, data-collection software, and the continuous variations method as you determine the sodium hydroxide to acetic acid mole ratio in the chemical equation for the reaction between sodium hydroxide and acetic acid.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about acid-base reactions, balanced equations, and mole ratios before you choose and investigate a researchable question that utilizes the continuous variations method to determine the mole ratio of reactants in an acid-base reaction.

Sensors and Equipment

This investigation features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry »

Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Physical Properties of Water
2Baking Soda and Vinegar Investigations
3An Investigation of Urea-Containing Cold Packs
4Conductivity of Aqueous Solutions
5Identifying a Pure Substance
6Investigating the Energy Content of Foods
7Investigating the Energy Content of Fuels
8Evaporation and Intermolecular Attractions
9Enthalpy Changes
10Reaction Stoichiometry
11Beer's Law Investigations
12Colligative Properties of Solutions
13Long Term Water Monitoring
14Vapor Pressure and Heat of Vaporization Investigations
15Acid-Base Properties of Household Products
16The Effect of Acid Deposition on Aqueous Systems
17Acid-Base Titrations
18Conductimetric Titrations
19Oxidation-Reduction Titrations
20Investigating Voltaic Cells
21Baking Soda and Vinegar Investigations Revisited
22Reaction Rates
23Enzyme Activity
24Sugar Fermentation by Yeast
25Nuclear Radiation

Investigation 10 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry Lab Book

<i>Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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Dev Reference: VST0463

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