Balancing Chemical Reactions

Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

AMahadi
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby AMahadi » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:03 pm

I'm still having some difficulty balancing equations that require more than just inspection. Is there another, possibly longer but more accurate method to balancing "harder" chemical reactions. For example: Cu + HNO3 → Cu(NO3)2 + NO + H2O

905416023
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby 905416023 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:06 pm

I too would like to know if there is a quicker way for these more complex reactions. I'm usually just stuck plugging in numbers for quite a while until I can balance them.

Jarrett Peyrefitte 2K
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Jarrett Peyrefitte 2K » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:08 pm

Try to make a list of reactants and products with their respective number of molecules and balance it one by one.

BCaballero_4F
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:22 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby BCaballero_4F » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:13 pm

I find it helpful to list the elements on both sides (under reactants and products) and then plug in numbers that look correct and update the numbers as I go by crossing them out and putting the new ones.

Haley Chun 4H
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Haley Chun 4H » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:33 pm

My TA suggested starting with the elements that occur the least and (if applicable) leaving elements that stand alone like oxygen for last.

Haley Chun 4H
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Haley Chun 4H » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:33 pm

My TA suggested starting with the elements that occur the least and (if applicable) leaving elements that stand alone like oxygen for last.

anjali41
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby anjali41 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:10 pm

In order to make balancing chemical equations easier, I would try to start with the largest molecule and attempt to balance the elements in that molecule first. This helps me, but everyone has different strategies that works for them. I think practice is the best way to help.

Avnita C_4B
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Avnita C_4B » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:56 pm

It will be easier to see which element already has the largest amount on the reactant side and see the proportion of the same element on the product side. One by one, plug in the coefficients. If you have to, rewrite the new balanced equation and recheck your coefficients to see if both sides have same amounts.

Brianna Becerra 1B
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Brianna Becerra 1B » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:17 am

With balancing equations, I normally pick a side and use it as a reference point and go down the list to check if the numbers match. If it is not easily apparent, messing around with the numbers and trying to plug in possible answers sometimes helps.

Micah3J
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Micah3J » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:41 am

Would there ever be a question in which the chemical equations cannot be balanced? How would we be able to tell without trying dozens of different combinations?

Elizabeth 4I
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Elizabeth 4I » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:26 am

A easy way to balance chemical reactions is by starting from the biggest compound then balancing by observation.

Justin Quan 4I
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Justin Quan 4I » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:25 am

I found that the most efficient method is to start with the largest or most complex molecule. For example, since Cu is alone, I would balance that last.

Areli C 1L
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Areli C 1L » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:27 am

Jarrett Peyrefitte 1L wrote:Try to make a list of reactants and products with their respective number of molecules and balance it one by one.

Yes! This simple list helps with confusion and knowing how much of what is on each side. I highly recommend this. :)

Sally Qiu 2E
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Sally Qiu 2E » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:43 am

i try to balance the coefficient one by one by making a list, but when i get an odd number, I double the coefficients and that usually works out in the end

AveryAgosto
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby AveryAgosto » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:33 am

I find that writing the amount of each reactant and each product helps me visualize what I need to add to make the equation balanced.

KMenjivar_3A
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:05 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby KMenjivar_3A » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:10 pm

First, separate the reactants and products to distinguish the total amount. By looking at the equation, it is clear that the coefficients will have to doubled since there is an uneven number of oxygens in the reactant and product category. In that case, count the total amount for each element to balance the equation with the appropriate coefficient.

AprilPaz
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby AprilPaz » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:55 pm

Always balance the elements that stand alone VS. balancing the elements that have several others attached to them. For example, Li3N (s) + H2 (g) -> LiNH2 (s) + LiH (s) I would only work with balancing H2 and LiH. Li3N (s) + 2H2 (g) -> LiNH2 (s) + 2LiH (s).

KBELTRAMI_1E
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby KBELTRAMI_1E » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:30 pm

Aminah Mahadi 2C wrote:I'm still having some difficulty balancing equations that require more than just inspection. Is there another, possibly longer but more accurate method to balancing "harder" chemical reactions. For example: Cu + HNO3 → Cu(NO3)2 + NO + H2O


All I know is you should start with the least frequently occurring elements in the reaction.

Jasmine Fendi 1D
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Jasmine Fendi 1D » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:50 pm

I know that some suggested to start balancing the least complex molecule first, but personally I've been starting with whichever element comes first and then going back when needed

Callum Guo 1H
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:15 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby Callum Guo 1H » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:52 pm

Not really. Sometimes you just gotta grind it out. If you dont already, you can try to balance polyatomic ions if they show up on both sides instead of breaking them up into individual elements.

serenabirkhoff_1K
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Postby serenabirkhoff_1K » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:50 pm

I always start with what looks most complicated and leave elements that stand alone for last because when adding a coefficient to that element it will not change the amount for others and therefore is easier to change last because then you do not have to go back and add more coefficients to other elements, usually.


Return to “Balancing Chemical Reactions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests