LAW OF CONSERVATION OF MASS

 

Law of conversation of mass states that the mass is neither created nor destroyed in any chemical reaction. The mass of any element in the beginning of a reaction equals the mass of the same element at the end of the reaction.  If the total reactant and products in a chemical reaction were accounted for then the total mass will remain the same at any closed system. The law of conservation of mass is seen to be true because the elements are stable at a condition found on earth’s surface. Most elements are as a result of fusion reaction found on stars and supernovae. Therefore the atoms are not converted to elements during a chemical reaction.  Atoms that make living and non-living matters are termed to be very old. The law of conservation of mass can be used by ecologists in analyzing the elemental cycles this is by conducting mass balance. All reactions in the ecosystem must obey the law of conservation of mass, though none of the ecosystems is a closed system.  An ecosystem can be referred to as a set of compartments that are connected by the flow of both materials and energy.  Availability of element varies greatly between a living and nonliving matter.  Naturally, life on earth depends on the recycling of the essential elements. When an organism dies the atoms return to simpler molecules in the atmosphere, soil, and water through decomposing.  Each organism has unique and fixed elemental formula for the determination of its formula. The mass balance applies even in the cities and agricultural fields. The uses the natural delineated ecosystem in the application of mass balances.  The natural delineated ecosystem can be lakes and watersheds. Cities produce waste products with solid waste that is usually sent to landfills. The human agricultural system can be analyzed using the mass balance, ecosystem approach.

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