## Unequal coefficients

Jina Kwon
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 am

### Unequal coefficients

If a chemical reactions' coefficients are unable to balanced, can we use fractions to balance the equation?

Chem_Mod
Posts: 18400
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:53 pm
Has upvoted: 435 times

### Re: Unequal coefficients

Unless there is a typo, every reaction given in the book should be able to be balanced using whole number coefficients.

Junwei Sun 4I
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:16 am

### Re: Unequal coefficients

Every chemical equation should be able to be balanced.Sometimes fractions do occur when you try to balance an equation for example in combustion reactions.When fractions do occur you can just multiply every coefficient by the common denominator of the fractions so that you will have whole number coefficients again.

Sanjana K - 2F
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:17 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

### Re: Unequal coefficients

Like Junwei was saying, it may seem convenient to use fractions initially when you're balancing but it will quickly get messy. Especially if the coefficients are quite large, you'll want to deal with whole numbers for convenience. But technically yes, you can balance with fractions as long as you multiply each stoichiometric coefficient with a value that produces a whole number coefficient as your final answer.

PGao_1B
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Unequal coefficients

No, we cannot use fractions to balance chemical equations. We can use fractions in the process of balancing chemical equations, but in the end we should obtain whole number coefficients by multiplying each and every coefficient by the denominators of each and every fraction coefficient.

Gabriel Ordonez 2K
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Unequal coefficients

Chemical reactions can be balanced, so there's a possibility that you had a printing error while writing down the whole equation. The thing with balanced equations is that they require stoichiometric coefficients that have balanced values at each side that are also at their lowest whole number integer. These equations can be written in fraction form; that is just the rule with equations. For example if you had the balanced equation, C4H10(g) + 13/2O2(g) -> 4CO2(g) + 5H2O(g), you will need to multiply the entire equation by two to eliminate the 13/2 fraction and just make it thirteen.

The result equation would be 2C4H10(g) + 13O2(g) -> 8CO2(g) + 10H20(g).

I hope I helped!

Erik Buetow 1F
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:15 am

### Re: Unequal coefficients

They should all be able to be balanced, just use a fraction and then multiply (usually by 2) the whole equation to get rid of the fractions and then that should balance the equation assuming everything else has already been balanced and is correct.