Post a New Question

chemistry

posted by .

Could you please explain to me how to balance a chemical equation? I've been trying to figure it out, but I can't seem to understand it at all.

  • chemistry -

    There are two types of equations to balance.
    1)non-redox which are balanced by trial and error.
    2) redox equations which have rules that can be followed (although sometimes they can be balanced by trial and error also).
    I assume you want #1. Here is a simple one.
    CH4 + O2 ==> CO2 + H2O
    1. I look at the equation and just start with the first element. C is 1 on the left and 1 on the right. Temporarily, at least, this one is ok for now unless something else changes it.

    2. Then I look at H. There are 4 atoms on the left and I can make it 4 on the right by adding a coefficient of 2 for H2O so now the equation looks like this.
    CH4 + O2 ==> CO2 + 2H2O

    3. When balancing oxygen, I notice it stands by itself; therefore, I NEVER try to add O2 and try to balance it on the right. I ALWAYS count up what I need on the right, then make the one on the left the number I need. On the right I have 4 O atoms (2 from CO2 and 2 from 2H2O = 4). So I need 4 on the left and I can get that by placing a coefficient of 2 for O2 so the balanced equation reads as
    CH4 + 2O2 ==> CO2 + 2H2O.

    4. I ALWAYS check it to make sure it is right. I see 1 C on left and right.
    I see 4 H atoms on left and right.
    I see 4 O atoms on left and right. Equation is balanced.

    5. How do you get more proficient at this? Practice, practice, practice.

Respond to this Question

First Name
School Subject
Your Answer

Similar Questions

  1. Algebra

    I've been trying to figure out this equation for over an hour but all the answers I get are wrong. The equation is 0.9=-10I^2+6I . The answer is supposed to be 0.3 and it does work out, but I have tried all different ways to solve …
  2. Annuities

    Vic French mad deposits of 5000 at the end of each quarter to book bank, which pays 8% intrest compounded quarterly. After 3 years, Victor made no more deposits. What will be the balance in the account 2 years after the last deposit?
  3. english

    Please help me ive been trying to figure this out, but I DO NOT understand it...I do not understand what an embedded sentence is We have to find the embedded sentences in: I deplore the fact that bats have wings. That Guinevere loves …
  4. English- schools of literary criticism

    Hi there, I've really been trying to understand the theory of postmodern criticism and modern criticism, but I still can't seem to understand what it is. I've been researching on the web, & it's still not very clear. I hope someone …
  5. Algebra

    I am having such a hard time in this class. Hopefully someone here can help me to understand some of what they are trying to teach me. I have a problem here and have been working on it for about an hour now and I can not figure it …
  6. math

    How can I factor this: 2a^2 + 19a +42 ? I've been trying to do this for so long but I can't figure it out. Please explain the answer as well. The only way I can come up with is trial and error, and I've been trying so long and nothing
  7. Science

    I am learning how to balance a chemical equation but I don't understand it at all. I read that in order to balance the equation, you need to find the number of atoms. How do I do that?
  8. chemistry

    how to balance a complicated chemical equation.explain with a example.tell me a shortcut to balance complicated chemical equation.
  9. Chemistry

    I'm currently learning about balancing chemical equation but I don't understand the equation below. 2FE + 3CL(subscript 2) -> 2FECL(subscript 3) I understand 2FE balance out but how did 3CL2 became CL3?
  10. Algebra 1

    I have been trying to figure out how to solve multi-step equations. Such as 1/2x+1/4x=16. How do you solve these?

More Similar Questions

Post a New Question