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The strategies I use are to prioritize certain elements over others, specifically the ones with low amounts, such as carbon, nitrogen, etc. If you balance those first, you can, then, focus on the hydrogens and oxygen since that may involve larger stoichiometric coefficients. And for extra precaution, I would double check if there are equal amounts of each element on both sides. I usually count it in my head, but you can make a chart, if that's helpful.
jlinwashington1B wrote:I remember going over a problem in discussion that required algebra in order tp balance equations... Can someone help me to understand this concept?
I also feel like some problems require more strategies like algebra and would want some clarification as well.
I start with the element that only shows up once on both sides of the equation. Then, I take into account the elements that appear multiple times. This is usually oxygen, especially in a combustion reaction. I try to make the oxygen have an even number on the left side of the equation, because on the right side you will have to multiply your stoichiometric coefficient by 2. By trying to make even numbers of elements on each side, I think it makes trial and error much easier, then you can simplify at the end.
I think it's easier to focus on one element at a time, usually starting with the element that only appears once on both sides. You equalize the amount on both sides with coefficients and then you see how that coefficient affects the other element amounts. Once you've figured that out, you just simply balance the element amounts on the other side of the equation.
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