Help on HW question H1

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Adrian Franco 3H
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Help on HW question H1

Postby Adrian Franco 3H » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:37 pm

Hey all, so the question says:

It appears that balancing the chemical equation Cu + SO2 --> CuO + S would be simple if we could just add another O atom to the product side: Cu + SO2 --> CuO + S + O.

a) Why is that balancing procedure not allowed?
b) Balance the equation correctly.

So I know how to answer B, which I believe is 2Cu + SO2 --> 2CuO + S ... but can someone explain to me the concepts behind part a?

mendozayael_2H
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Help on HW question H1

Postby mendozayael_2H » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:44 pm

I believe that procedure is not allowed because adding an Oxygen atom to the CuO molecule would destabilize it, whereas adding coefficients changes the number of molecules rather than their structure.

Tanaisha Italia 1B
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Re: Help on HW question H1

Postby Tanaisha Italia 1B » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:49 pm

I think that it is because adding oxygen by itself would imply that it is an individual product of the reaction, which is different than saying it is part of the product copper oxide. You would be adding oxygen to the right side of the equation separately. Therefore, the equation has a different meaning as you are changing its products (free oxygen atoms plus cooper oxide plus sulphur rather than just copper oxide plus sulphur).

Girija_3E
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Re: Help on HW question H1

Postby Girija_3E » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:13 pm

Essentially, it is not allowed because you would be completely changing the reaction itself--adding an O to the product side would be adding a product that did not have a reactant to begin with, so the reaction would not resemble the original reaction at all.

Alex Nechaev 1I
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Re: Help on HW question H1

Postby Alex Nechaev 1I » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:14 pm

The reason that you can't simply add another O to the reaction is because matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, you cannot end up with more than what you started with if it was not involved in the reaction in the first place. Adding more atoms to the product than there were in the reactant means you are creating matter and that can't happen in a chemical reaction. Hope this helped!

Mataeo Alvarado 1L
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Re: Help on HW question H1

Postby Mataeo Alvarado 1L » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:01 pm

You cannot do this due to the Law of the Conservation of Mass, which states matter can neither be created or destroyed in a chemical reaction. With that said, adding a random O on the side of products would defy the Law, leaving more products produced than reactants available.


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