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Balancing Chemical Equations. A “balanced” equation. Has equal numbers of atoms of each element in the reactants and in the products. How do you balance an equation?. You cannot change subscripts: Ex: H 2 O is water H 2 O 2 is hydrogen peroxide These are obviously not the same thing.

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Presentation Transcript
a balanced equation

A “balanced” equation

Has equal numbers of atoms of each element in the reactants and in the products.

how do you balance an equation
How do you balance an equation?
  • You cannot change subscripts:
  • Ex: H2O is water
  • H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide
  • These are obviously not the same thing
how do you balance an equation1
How do you balance an equation?

The only “tool” at your disposal in balancing equations is a “coefficient”

  • Whole number
  • Written to the left of a formula
  • Multiplies the number of atoms of each element present in the compound
using coefficients
Using coefficients

Consider: NaNO3 (sodium nitrate)

  • Formula indicates: 1-Na, 1-N, 3-O

Now consider: 4 NaNO3

  • Coefficient indicates 4 times as many of everything
  • Therefore, 4-Na, 4-N, 12-O
how many atoms are indicated by the formula
How many atoms are indicated by the formula:

Mg3(PO4)2

  • 3-Mg, 2-P, 8-O

3 Mg3(PO4)2

  • Three times as many of everything
  • 9-Mg, 6-P, 24-O
some pointers in balancing
Some pointers in balancing
  • Only balance one element at a time
  • Use a pencil
    • easier to change coefficients as needed
  • Leave oxygen for last
  • Leave hydrogen for second to last
some pointers in balancing1
Some pointers in balancing

Reduce the coefficients if they can all be divided by the same number

Ex:2 P4 + 10 O2 4 P2O5

Coefficients should be divided by 2 and written

P4 + 5 O2 2 P2O5

examples in reactions
Examples in reactions…
  • sulfur + oxygen yields sulfur dioxide
  • S8 + O2 SO2 …is this balanced?
  • S8 + 8 O2 8 SO2
  • How about… diphosphorus pentoxide decomposes into phosphorus and oxygen?
  • P2O5  P4 + O2
  • 2 P2O5  P4 + 5 O2
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