Chemistry

Difference Between Reactants and Products

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Main Difference

The main difference between Reactants and Products is that Reactants are the materials that act as the starting materials during the chemical reaction, whereas the product is that substance which is formed at the end of the chemical reaction.

Reactants vs. Products

A reactant is defined as the chemical substance that combines during the chemical reaction and forms the new substance; on the other hand, products are the substance that is formed as a result of the combination of reactants. During the reaction, the reactants are consumed initially in the reaction; on the flip side, products are produced at the end of the reaction. During the reaction, the number of reactants is decreased gradually, whereas products are substances that increase gradually during the reaction.

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At the initial stage of chemical reaction, the reactants are in excess, but on the other hand, as the reaction starts, the number of products is minimum. At the final stage, the number of reactants is in zero amount, whereas the number of products is in excess amount. At the final stage, the number of reactants is sometimes present or may not present, whereas the number of products is always present.

In reactants, the bonds are generally broken during the chemical reaction to carry out the further reaction; on the contrary, in the case of products, the bonds are usually formed between the chemicals at the end of a chemical. In a chemical reaction, the reactants may be gradually or instantly decreased when a chemical reaction starts; on the other hand, the number of products may be increased slowly or instantly during the reaction.

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The reactants are consumed throughout the chemical reaction, while products are not consumed or used up in the reaction. The reactants in the chemical reaction are usually present on the right side of the arrow; on the flip side, the products are present on the left side of the equation.

The reactants are less stable in the reaction, whereas products are generally more stable than the reactants in the chemical reaction. In the example of the candle burn, the reactants are the fuel (the candlewick and wax) and oxygen (present in air); on the contrary, the products in this example are carbon dioxide gas and water vapors.

Comparison Chart

ReactantsProducts
Reactants are the chemical substance that is considered as the starting material of the chemical reaction.Products are the substance that is produced at the end of the chemical reaction.
Consumption
The number of reactants is consumed throughout the reactionThe number of products is not consumed throughout the reaction.
Concentration
The number of reactants is present in excess amount, whereas the number of reactants is in less amount at the end stage of the reaction.The amount of the products is in less at the initial stage, whereas it is present in the excess amount at the end of the reaction.
Beginning
At the start of the chemical reaction, the number of reactants is present in excess amount, and the amount of reaction is present almost due to reactantsAt the start of the chemical reaction, the amount of reaction due to product is zero
End
At the end of the chemical reaction, the products are almost at zero concentrationAt the end of the chemical reaction, the concentration of products are in excess amount
Presence
It is present at the start of the chemical reactionIt is present at the end of the chemical reaction
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What are Reactants?

Reactants are defined as the chemical substance that combines to give new products. Reactants are the chemicals that starts the chemical reaction. When a reaction starts, the number of reactants starts decreasing.

As the reaction proceeds, the number of reactants is changed into a different compound as the product. In the initial stage of the chemical reaction, the amount of the reactants are changed into products very speedily, but at the end of the chemical reaction, the rate of the chemical reaction decreases and then reached to zero.

The number of reactants is consumed throughout the reaction. The amount of the reactant is present in excess amount. For example, during the reaction of water forming, the hydrogen and oxygen are initially at present in reactant form, at the end of the chemical reaction the water is formed which is the product of the chemical reaction, but when we reversed the chemical reaction by heating, the vapors are formed, like the hydrogen and oxygen break down again, this reaction is carried out under the high temperature of 1500 0C.

The reactants are present in the different physical states at the start of the chemical reaction, but at the end of the chemical reaction, the product formed with extraordinary and different physical properties or chemical properties. The physical condition of the reactant at the start of the chemical reaction is colorless or colorful, and their reaction converts then into the colorful or colorless products.

The reactants may be the gas, liquid, or in a vapor state according to the type of chemical reaction. Let us consider some examples to clarify the concept of reactants. For example, the reaction of acid-base components; in this reaction, the reactants are the acid-base of different physical condition which produces the different compounds.

What are Products?

The compounds which are formed as the result of the chemical reaction are called products. The products are formed at the end of the chemical reaction. As the reaction proceeds, the number of reactants is decreasing, whereas the amount of the products is increasing gradually.

At the initial stage of the chemical reaction, the amount of the products is zero, but as the reaction starts, the amount of the products increases. The amount of the products are depended upon the amount of the reactants when the amount of the reactants is consumed; the reaction is stopped.

At the start of the chemical reaction, the amount of the products is formed very rapidly, but as the reaction proceeds, the amount of the products forming is decreases. The products may be ions or molecules. The products may be present in the form of the liquid, gases, or solid phase.

The products may be colorless or colorful. The physical condition of the products is depended upon the type of reactants involved in the chemical reaction. Let us consider an example to explain the concept of the products. For example, in an acid-base reaction, the product is the result of the combination of the acid and base, which gives the products of salts and water. This reaction can carry out under normal conditions and normal temperatures.

Key Differences

  1. A reactant is defined as the starting material of the chemical reaction, whereas the product is defined as the element which is formed as the result of the chemical reaction.
  2. Reactants are the substance that is the cause for the starting of the chemical reaction; on the other hand, and products are formed as the result of the combination of the reactants.
  3. Reactants are present in the excess amount at the beginning; conversely, products are present in zero amount.
  4. Reactants are in zero amount at the end of the chemical reaction on the flip side, and products are present in the excess amount at the end of the chemical reaction.
  5. Reactants in the chemical reaction are usually present on the right side of the arrow; on the contrary, the products are present on the left side of the equation.

Conclusion

Reactants are the substance that starts a chemical reaction, due to the combination of reactants, the reaction starts; on the other hand, products are the substance that is formed as the result of the chemical reaction, these are formed as the result of the combination of reactants.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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