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Steps to Predicting the Products of Chemical Reactions
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  1. Steps to Predicting the Products of Chemical Reactions Honors Chemistry

  2. Once you classify the reaction, then write the products. • If it is combustion, then just write H2O and CO2 as products. • If it is synthesis, write a compound that contains both elements. (remember to balance the charges for ionic compounds) • If it is decomposition, then attempt to break it into two elements or compounds.

  3. If it is single replacement, then replace the single element with the corresponding element in the compound. • A metal will replace the cation in the compound • A non-metal will replace the anion in the compound • Remember to take into account the charges on the cation and anion and write the formula correctly! • If it is double replacement, then the cation and anions switch places. • It is helpful to separate each compound into their cation and anionic parts with their charges. • Then switch places, and criss cross the new compounds to make sure they are the correct neutral compound formulas.

  4. Diatomics! • Remember the elements that exist in diatomic form. • H, N, O, F, Cl, Br and I • All exist with two of the element: • H2 N2 O2 F2 Cl2 , Br2 , I2

  5. A + B  Synthesis/Combination • Example: • Na(s) + Cl2(g) • 2 elements indicates synthesis • Write Charges for each then write compound • Na+ Cl- • NaCl • Balance Reaction 2 2 NaCl

  6. AB  Decomposition • A single reactant indicates a decomposition reaction. • Separate to elements (remember diatomics!) or less complex compounds (we will be memorizing some of these later!) • Examples: • MgO  • NH4OH  Mg + O2 2 2 NH3 + H2O

  7. AB + C  Single Displacement • AB is an ionic compound and C is an element. • If element is a metal, it replaces the cation. • CuSO4 + Zn  • If element is a non-metal, it replaces the anion. • LiI + F2 • Remember correct charges and diatomics! • Then balance at the end. Cu + ZnSO4 2 I2 + LiF 2

  8. AB + CD  Double Displacement • AB and CD are both ionic compounds. • Separate each compound & write their charges. • Switch places and re-write new compounds. • Example: • Pb(NO3)2 + KI  • Pb2+ NO3- K+ I- • Pb2+ I- K+ NO3- • Balance at the end 2 PbI2 + KNO3 2

  9. CxHy + O2 Combustion • Can also be CxHyOz • A hydrocarbon and oxygen indicate a combustion reaction. • Just write CO2 and H2O as products and then balance (this is the hard part!) • C4H10 + O2 CO2 + H2O