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March 28, 2017

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Why doesn't potassium ion K+ from KMnO4 appear in the following two unbalanced equations: MnO4– + C2O42– Mn2+ + CO2
MnO4– + Fe2+ Mn2+ + Fe3+ ?


A. KMnO4 is not added to either reaction.
B. K+ is a spectator ion and redox reactions are written as net ionic reactions.
C. The presence of K+ would result in a net positive charge in the products.
D. The equations cannot be balanced if the potassium ion K+ is present.
E. None of these.

  • Chemistry - ,

    K^+ is a spectator ion and that is why is isn't in the equation. The part of answer B I don't like is "and redox reactions are written as net ionic reactions." That implies that redox reactions are never written as molecular equation and that isn't true. Therefore, technically, E is the only correct answer but the spirit of the question may call for B to be the correct answer.

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