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BALANCING CHEMICAL EQUATIONS

By: Jhan Warren P. Magno

A chemical equation describes what happens in a chemical reaction. The equation identifies the reactants and products , the formulas & phases of the participants (solid, liquid, gas), and the amount of each substance. But a chemical equation will not be completed if it is not balanced. Balancing a chemical equation refers to establishing the mathematical relationship between the quantity of reactants and products. A chemical equation is balanced if the number of atoms for each substance in the reaction and the total charge are the same for both the reactants and the products. In other words, the mass and the charge are balanced on both sides of the reaction.

RULES IN BALANCING CHEMICAL EQUATIONS:

1. Write the given unbalanced equation and make sure that you will put the reactants on the left side of the equation and the product on the right side .If two or more reactants or products are involved, separate their formulas with plus signs.

H2 + O 2

H2O

2. Find the number of atoms for each element on the left side. Compare those against the number of atoms of the same element on the right side.
Hydrogen is balanced with 2 atoms but oxygen is not with 2:1 ratio.

H2 + O 2

H2O

3. Now, we will add a coefficient in front of the unbalanced compound to be able to balance the reaction.

H2+ O2

2H2O

4. Indicate the states of matter of the reactants and products. Use (s) for solid substances, (g) gaseous substances, (l) for liquid substances and (aq) for aqueous solution. Write the state of matter right after the formula of the substance it defines.

H2(g) + O2(g)

2H2O(l)

5. Finally, check the coefficients. They must be in their lowest possible ratio. 2(H2), 1(O2), and 2(H2O)

EXAMPLES
1. Sodium Phosphate is added to Ferric Oxide to yield Sodium Oxide and Iron (III) Phosphate Na3 PO4+ Fe2O3 Na2O+FePO4 6=2x3=Na=2 11 8=2x4 3 3 4x2=8 11

2 =2x1=P=1x2=2 2=Fe=1x2=2

2Na3 PO4 + Fe2O3

3Na2O + 2FePO4

2. Silver Sulfide is reacted with gold (III) nitrate to produce silver nitrate and gold (III) sulfide Ag2S+Au(NO)3 AgNO3+Au2S3 6=3x2=Ag=1x66 3=3x1=S=3 2=2x1=Au=2 6=2x3=N=1x6=6 18=2x9=O=3x6=18