# How can the concentration of a solid be constant during a reaction?

The molar concentration is given by the ratio between density and molar mass. I understand the proof. But how does this remain true during a reaction?

For example consider the reaction,

$$\ce{4Al(s) + 3O2 (g) -> 2Al2O3(s)}$$

If the amount of Al and O2 moles are equal, according to stoichiometry Al ought to be the reactant to end first. But, being a solid, Al’s concentration must be constant. How can this be? What is wrong in my reasoning?

**Please note that I mistakenly assumed that the amount of Al and O2 are equal, without stating it, leading to the confusion that Al ends first at all times, I have edited the question appropriately

• If Al ends first, then there is no more Al, hence its concentration is zero. What's unclear about that? – Ivan Neretin Dec 10 '17 at 15:11
• Yes, but they say that the concentration of a solid remains constant throughout. How is that possible? – SNB Dec 10 '17 at 15:12
• Well, just like that. A huge piece of Al has exactly the same properties as small piece of Al. – Ivan Neretin Dec 10 '17 at 15:15
• RE: According to stoichiometry Al ought to be the reactant to end first. Stoichiometry doesn't really determine which is the limiting reagent. The limiting reagent is based on the relative number of moles of the reactants. So if there are 10 moles of Al and 1 mole of O2 then O2 is limiting. If 1 mole Al and 10 moles O2 then Al is limiting. – MaxW Dec 10 '17 at 20:45
• I don't understand why Al ought to be the reactant to end first (I assume by end, you mean run out?). Surely I can give you a sealed room with limited oxygen and a honking giant chunk of aluminum? – chipbuster Dec 10 '17 at 22:26