Actual yield represents the amount of product obtained from a chemical reaction or a manufacturing process. Accurately calculating actual yield is crucial for various industries, including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and material sciences.

Calculating the actual yield is fundamental to chemical reactions and manufacturing processes. It provides essential information about the efficiency and success of these processes.

Actual Yield is always less than Theoretical Yield

What is Actual Yield?

Actual yield, also known as real yield, is the amount of product obtained from a chemical reaction or a manufacturing process. It is the physical amount of the desired product that you collect at the end of a process. Actual yield can be less than, equal to, or greater than the theoretical yield, depending on various factors like reaction efficiency, impurities, and experimental conditions.

actual yield calculation

Calculating Actual Yield

Actual yield can be figured out by:

  1. Experimental quantification
  2. The formula of percentage yield

1. Calculation by Experiment

The choice of technique to determine the actual yield depends on the nature of the reaction, the properties of the product, and the specific goals of the experiment. Here are some common techniques:

  1. Gravimetric Analysis: Gravimetric analysis involves the precipitation of a solid product, followed by its isolation, drying, and weighing. This method is particularly useful when the product can be converted into a stable solid form. For example, in the synthesis of salt, the product can often be isolated as a solid precipitate for weighing.
  2. Titration: Titration is used to determine the concentration of a substance in a solution. This technique is valuable when the actual yield is based on the amount of a specific reactant consumed during the reaction. For instance, in acid-base reactions, titration can help find the exact amount of acid or base used.
  3. Gas Collection and Measurement: When dealing with gas-forming reactions, collecting and measuring the gas produced is crucial. Techniques like water displacement, gas syringes, and manometers can be employed to measure the volume of gas produced. Combined with information on temperature and pressure, you can calculate the moles of gas and, in turn, the yield.
  4. Spectroscopy: Spectroscopic techniques such as UV-Vis, IR, NMR, and mass spectrometry are useful for identifying and quantifying compounds. These methods can confirm the purity and identity of the product, especially when the product is challenging to isolate or when it’s present in a mixture.
  5. Calorimetry: In reactions that involve heat changes, calorimetry can determine the heat of the reaction. This information can be used to calculate the amount of product formed indirectly. Calorimetry is useful in thermodynamic studies and reactions where the product doesn’t have a distinct physical form.
  6. Chromatography: Chromatography techniques, such as gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC), can separate and quantify compounds in a mixture. These methods are advantageous when the product is in a complex mixture, and it needs to be isolated and quantified.
  7. Electrochemical Methods: Techniques like coulometry or voltammetry can be employed to determine the actual yield in electrochemical reactions. These methods measure the quantity of electricity consumed or produced during a reaction, which can be correlated with the moles of reactants or products.
  8. Nuclear Techniques: In some cases, nuclear methods, such as neutron activation analysis, can be used to determine the composition and amount of specific elements or compounds. These techniques are particularly useful in nuclear and materials science.
  9. Isotope Tracing: Isotope labeling and tracing can be used to follow the fate of specific atoms or molecules during a reaction. This can help determine the amount of product formed and can be valuable in biological and biochemical research.
  10. Visual Inspection: In some cases, particularly in simple chemical reactions, the product may be visually distinguishable from the reactants. Visual inspection can be used to estimate the yield, although it may not be as precise as other techniques.

2. Calculation by Formula

To calculate actual yield via formula, a chemist needs to know the percentage and theoretical yields.

Actual Yield = (Weight of the Actual Product Obtained) / (Weight of the Theoretical Yield) x 100%

Let’s break down the steps:

Determine Theoretical Yield

Before calculating the actual yield, you need to calculate the theoretical yield. The theoretical yield is the maximum amount of product that could be produced based on stoichiometry, which is the balanced chemical equation for the reaction.

This step involves converting the moles of the limiting reactant to moles of the product and then to grams using molar masses.

Perform the Experiment

Carry out the chemical reaction or manufacturing process under specific conditions. Ensure you follow the reaction stoichiometry as closely as possible.

Collect the Product

After the reaction is complete, collect the product carefully, minimizing losses. Use proper equipment to collect the product and avoid any contamination.

Weigh the Actual Product

Measure the weight of the actual product obtained using an accurate balance.

Calculate the Actual Yield

Use the formula provided to calculate the actual yield as a percentage of the theoretical yield.

Example Calculations

Let’s consider the simple reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to form water:

2H2(g) + O2(g) → 2H2O(g)

Suppose you have 4 grams of hydrogen and 32 grams of oxygen, and you want to know the actual water yield. First, calculate the theoretical yield:

Theoretical Yield of H2O = (Moles of limiting reactant) x (Molar mass of H2O) Moles of H2

= 4 g / 2 g/mol

= 2 moles Theoretical Yield of H2O

= 2 moles x 18 g/mol

= 36 grams

Now, let’s say you collect 32 grams of water during the reaction. Calculate the actual yield:

Actual Yield of H2O = 32 grams Actual Yield

= (32 g / 36 g) x 100%

= 88.89%

In this example, the actual yield of water is approximately 88.89% of the theoretical yield.

Significance of Actual Yield

Understanding and accurately calculating the actual yield is critical for several reasons:

  1. Quality Control: In manufacturing, knowing the actual yield helps maintain product quality and consistency.
  2. Efficiency: It allows for the evaluation of process efficiency. A low actual yield may indicate inefficiencies in the reaction or production process.
  3. Cost Analysis: Actual yield affects cost analysis by determining the cost per unit of product produced.
  4. Safety: Accurate calculations of actual yield can help prevent overproduction and chemical waste, promoting safety and sustainability.