posted by William .
A compound containing 3 atoms of carbon and 8 atoms of hydrogen is combined in a reaction with oxygen molecules. The two end products of this equation are carbon dioxide and water. What element should you look at first in balancing this equation?
I have answered problems like this several times. There are many many different ways to balance equations and each person has a method that s/he prefers. So there is no one way of doing it. Personally, I think this is a VERY poor question but you don't need to tell your instructor that. I would start with carbon but there is no reason not to start with hydrogen. There are some good reasons not to start with oxygen.
I want to say the answe is A although I am not sure I could be wrong it has been almostlittle over 20 years since I have been in school