Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?  [ENDORSED]

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Priscilla_Covarrubias_HL
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:00 am

Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Priscilla_Covarrubias_HL » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:41 pm

Does anyone have advice on how to speed up the process of balancing equations? Is there any trends that I should look out for? .... or any elements that I should balance out first?... or different methods?

Molika Soben_3J
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Molika Soben_3J » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:33 pm

My TA said to balance out the biggest number on the reactant side first and the smallest last. So whichever atom has the highest number, balance that out first.

kara_kremer_2N
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:00 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby kara_kremer_2N » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:43 pm

Also, balance Oxygen last if it is present. It tends to be a little more difficult so balancing it last saves some time.

Amanda Salgado 3D
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Amanda Salgado 3D » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:11 pm

In addition, when balancing and there is an odd number of either product or reactant, try doubling (multiplying everything by 2) to make it an even number, and balance the rest of the equation from there, hopefully creating the same amount of reactants to products.

Alyssa_Wieand_2G
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Alyssa_Wieand_2G » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:57 pm

I agree that balancing out the biggest number on the reactant side first is a good first step as some of the other elements tend to fall into place after that and match up. Additionally, I like to list all the elements on the side of my work in order to keep track of the ones I have or have not balanced to stay organized or in case you make any errors.

Ara Yazaryan 1E
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:59 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Ara Yazaryan 1E » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:22 pm

Personally I balance metals or other elements that are not H or O (such as C, N, Al, etc...) before I balance H and O. This is because most of the time there is some product such as H2 or H20 that i can use to help balance the equation at the end.

104730551
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby 104730551 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:07 am

Balancing oxygen last truly helps. It makes it less complicated when you balance the element that shows up the least amounts in a chemical equation.

Rachel Brown 3A
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:06 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Rachel Brown 3A » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:00 pm

Definitely balancing Oxygen last helps but keep in mind that if the Oxygen is in form of O AND O2, then when you keep it for the end, there's a chance you will have to double everything to make whole numbers for coefficients. Also in general, just think of it like a puzzle: look at the big picture first and then plug in an options. They won't always work out but if you have an idea for an end goal in mind, then it's easier to eliminate as you go.

Anna Goldberg 2I
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Anna Goldberg 2I » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:14 pm

I also keep track of the number of elements on each side of the equation. Also, I tend to balance the elements that are present in an even number on one side of the equation and an odd number on the opposite side of the equation first. It often makes subsequent calculations easier.

Michelle Lu 1F
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Michelle Lu 1F » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:54 pm

For me, it personally helps to first balance the element that occurs in the least number of molecules of the chemical equation. This is because if an element in part of multiple molecules, it is much harder to balance those in the beginning since you will have to most likely change the stoichiometric coefficients due to the other molecules. If you start with the ones that do not appear in it as much, there is less of a chance that you will go wrong and have to change the coefficients.

DAllaf
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:04 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby DAllaf » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:08 pm

Hi Priscilla,

First off, I would just recommend by saying that there is no definitive way to approach these types of problems the 'right' way. But my rule of thumb is to look for the atom that occurs the least and build from there. It helps because you would likely have to go back and fix the coefficients often if you did it another way. Also, try to save Oxygen for last, it tends to be one of the more complicated atoms to balance.

Hope this helps

Taylor-Rain Coleman
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:06 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Taylor-Rain Coleman » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:01 pm

Sometimes I make a little table of values so that I can see clearly that I'm not missing anything or skipping over any elements by mistake. It's faster for me because then I don't keep second guessing myself.

lizzygaines1D
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:00 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby lizzygaines1D » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:21 pm

yes to agree with my classmates, keeping a little value list is super helpful. I just list all the elements underneath the arrow and keep a small tally, crossing them out and updating them as I balance.

Rithik Kumar 3E
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:06 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Rithik Kumar 3E » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:04 pm

For larger chemical equations it might be easier to cronstruct two tables (one for the reactants and one for the products) that list out the individual elements involved in the reaction. Start by noting down the number of moles of each element of the unbalanced equation for both sides of the reaction. Then change the coefficients of the reactants and products noting each change in the moles of the elements in their respective sections of the created table. This method helps you compare and keep track of the moles of each element. Complete this process until the elements on both sides of the reaction have the same number of moles.

Guangyu Li 2J
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Guangyu Li 2J » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:44 pm

I have a fast way for balancing equations which is specific to the atoms of odd numbers. You can multiple them by 2 first:
An example from the Internet before is: FeS2+O2=Fe2O3+SO2
a. First, you can multiple Fe2O3 by 2, then you get FeS2+O2=2Fe2O3+SO2
b. Then, you can balance the iron atoms and you will get 4FeS2+O2=2Fe2O3+SO2
c. After that, you can balance the Sulfur and you will get 4FeS2+O2=2Fe2O3+8SO2
d. Finally, balancing the oxygen: 4FeS2+11O2=2Fe2O3=8SO2
This way has its boundedness but you can still use it when there is a compound involves with odd number of any atoms.

Elika Asis 3C
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:07 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Elika Asis 3C » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:47 pm

Keeping a list of the number of atoms for each element is super helpful! I usually have two charts or tables for the reactants and the products and I'll cross them off and rewrite the number of atoms as I change the coefficients in the balanced equations. I also usually start off balancing the elements that appear the fewest amount of times!

jorineraymundo2h
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:01 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby jorineraymundo2h » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:57 pm

Look for the element the appears the least amount of times and start there.

Dang Lam
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:01 am

Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?

Postby Dang Lam » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:17 pm

Usually, I skim through the equation and do a quick calculation from each side (reactant and product).

Ashley Fallon 3C
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Re: Balancing Chemical equations too slow... any advice?  [ENDORSED]

Postby Ashley Fallon 3C » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:18 pm

I usually start with the element that occurs the least. After balancing that, I go in ascending order until I finish.


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