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Sit where you can see me (the screen) (log into wikispaces now please). Chemical Reactions – The Basics A chemical reaction is what occurs when elements combine into compounds, separate into elements, or rearrange from one compound into another.

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Sit where you can see me the screen log into wikispaces now please

Sit where you can see me (the screen)(log into wikispaces now please)


Sit where you can see me the screen log into wikispaces now please

Chemical Reactions – The Basics

A chemical reaction is what occurs when elements combine into compounds, separate into elements, or rearrange from one compound into another.

Chemical reactions are represented by chemical equations. The reactants (starting chemicals) are shown the left and products (ending chemicals) are shown on the right.


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Other Symbols


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Balancing a Chemical Equation

Basically a guess and check process.

The only thing you can change is the coefficient!

Coefficients are the numbers in front of a compound and get multiplied to everything in that compound.


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Fe(s) + Cl2(g) → FeCl3(s)

Step 1: Add more Cl2

Fe(s) + 2Cl2(g) → FeCl3(s)

Step 2: Add more FeCl3

Fe(s) + 2Cl2(g) → 2FeCl3(s)

Step 3: Add more Fe and Cl2

2Fe(s) + 3Cl2(g) → 2FeCl3(s)


Advanced counting

Advanced Counting

  • 5O2 = 10 Oxygen

  • NH4 = 1 Nitrogen, 4 Hydrogen

  • 2NH4 = 2 Nitrogen, 8 Hydrogen

  • 3(MnO4)2 = 6 Manganese, 24 Oxygen


Flipping the subscripts

Flipping the Subscripts

  • O5 O2Use the subscripts as the 2O5 5O2 opposite one’s coefficient


Chunking polyatomic ions

Chunking Polyatomic Ions

Hg(MnO4)2 + Al2(Cr2O7)3  HgCr2O7 + Al(MnO4)3

  • Notice that there are the same polyatomic ions on both sides. Instead of breaking them up, balance them together.

    3Hg(MnO4)2 + Al2(Cr2O7)3  HgCr2O7 + 2Al(MnO4)3

    Balanced MnO4 by flipping the subscripts

    3Hg(MnO4)2 + Al2(Cr2O7)3  3HgCr2O7 + 2Al(MnO4)3

    Changing the number at the beginning increases the number of mercury, so by adding a 3 to the Mercury from the other side balances the whole thing.


Even odd double

Even Odd Double

  • If you have an element in multiple places do it last

  • C4H8S + O2  4CO2 + 4H2O + SO3

  • If you end up with an odd number of something on one side and an even number on the other… double everything then start counting from where you were.

  • 2C4H8S + 15O2  8CO2 + 8H2O + 2SO3


All tricks together

All tricks together

  • C2H5N + O2 CO + H2O + NO2

    • Balance the Carbon

  • C2H5N + O2 2CO + H2O + NO2

    • Flip the 2 and 5 for Hydrogen, then fix the Carbon

  • 2C2H5N + O2 4CO + 5H2O + NO2

    • Balance the Nitrogen

  • 2C2H5N + O2 4CO + 5H2O + 2NO2

    • Do Oxygen last. Oxygen is even on the left and odd on the right, so double everything.

  • 4C2H5N + 2O2 8CO + 10H2O + 4NO2

    • Recount the number of Oxygen

  • 4C2H5N + 13O2 8CO + 10H2O + 4NO2


Reaction types

Reaction Types

  • Combustion – O2 on the left, CO2 & H2O on the right.

  • Synthesis – X + Y = XY

  • Decomposition – XY = X + Y

  • Single Replacement – AX + B = A + BX

  • Double Replacement – AX + BY = AY + BX


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