Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

Anna Martin 2l
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:34 pm
Been upvoted: 1 time

Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Anna Martin 2l » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:44 am

When balancing chemical reactions, is there a specific order that you should go in or does the order not really matter and does it mainly depend on the reaction itself? I've heard that it is a good strategy to go in the order of balancing C, then H, then O, but I am not sure If that is completely necessary. Please let me know, thanks!

apurva-3E
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:59 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby apurva-3E » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:50 am

I recommend starting with an element found in one compound in each side of the equation. So the element you want to balance depends on the reaction given. In general start with one that is only in one compound on each side. Then, balance the rest. For more complicated problems, I recommend learning the algebraic way of balancing chemical equations.

Madilyn Schindler 3E
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:52 pm
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Madilyn Schindler 3E » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:51 am

There isn't necessarily a specific order that you need to go in. However, sometimes when I'm balancing a chemical equation I go from biggest to smallest, meaning I start with whichever element there is the most of. Hope that helps!

Colin Squire 3B
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:35 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Colin Squire 3B » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:06 am

There isn't a strict procedure to balancing equations, there is some trial and error. What I tend to do is balance the least occurring element first. If carbon appeared once on the reactants and once on the products, I would most likely balance the carbon. I've also seen that doing this naturally helps the equation balance itself, but not all the time. Hopefully this helped!

Sam_Marasigan_3D
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:52 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Sam_Marasigan_3D » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:07 am

Hi! like what Madilyn said, there isn't really a specific order that you must follow in order to balance an equation. However, a friend told me once, that in most chemical equations, it's ideal to leave the Oxygen atoms and/or Hydrogen atoms at the very last. Try to balance the other molecules first.

Eric Cruz 2G
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:45 pm
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Eric Cruz 2G » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:34 am

Hi, although there is no one specific way to balance combustion equations, I believe balancing Carbon first, Hydrogen Second and Oxygen last makes it much easier. The reason so is because Carbon is generally prevalent in one molecule on each side of the equation. Therefore, it's easier to manage balancing them first. Then, since Carbon is generally attached with mainly Hydrogen on the reactant side, the coefficient that was used to balance carbon facilitates the number of hydrogen on the left side, which in turn also facilitates how many hydrogens are needed on the right side. Ultimately this leaves you with only needing to solve oxygen! Oxygen is tricky since Oxygen is present in CO2 and H2O. That is why its best to do it last, after balancing C and H.

Jasmine Vera 3L
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:07 pm
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Jasmine Vera 3L » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:58 am

Hello! As many have said in the following replies, there is no correct or incorrect way of balancing chemical reactions. However, in high school chem, my teacher suggested that we should balance metals, non metals, hydrogen then oxygen last, in that corresponding order. Although this may simplify the balancing, I’ve always just found it easier to start with the first molecule in the reactant and work my way to the last.

Sejal Parsi 3K
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:03 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Sejal Parsi 3K » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:03 am

Hi, as everyone has said above, there is no specific order to balance equations, but there are some tricks that can make it easier. My high school teacher also taught me to balance metals, nonmetals, hydrogen, and then oxygen as the numbers are easier to clean up that way. Also, in a lot of the equations with C, H, and O, the O ends up being in odd numbers so it helps to deal with O last. Again, there is no right way to do it but having a method helps!

Juliana Rosales 1H
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Juliana Rosales 1H » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:35 am

There is no order, but I go from left to right. It is also good to just check at the end if you have equal amounts of each element on both sides.

Aaina 2D
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Aaina 2D » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:42 am

I've heard that strategy too, and it typically always works. For me, in general, I find it the easiest to start with an element that's not H and O - I would balance all the other elements first. That being said, there's no specific order, but some people find it easier to leave O and H for last.

Gillian Gabrielsen2F
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:03 pm
Been upvoted: 2 times

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Gillian Gabrielsen2F » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:15 am

I've heard it's better to start with the largest molecule, but I normally just balance from left to right. As long as you double check your answer at the end, it shouldn't matter.

Mari Williams 1K
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Mari Williams 1K » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:10 pm

I feel it's usually easiest to balance C first, then go left to right! It obviously depends on the problem, though.

alebenavides
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:39 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby alebenavides » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:32 pm

There isn't technically a correct way to balance equations. The way I do it is I basically try different things till I get the outcome needed. I usually start with hydrogen or oxygen to start off and if not I just start from left to right.

DPatel_2L
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby DPatel_2L » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:18 pm

There is no one right way to balance, and it depends on the equation to determine the fastest way to balance.

Ashley Wagner 2A
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:32 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Ashley Wagner 2A » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:20 pm

As others have said before, there is no set way to balance chemical reactions, but I usually balance the equation from left to right and that works out for me the best.

Katie Nye 2F
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Katie Nye 2F » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:23 pm

There's no correct order but I have found it easiest to balance polyatomic ions first, then elements that only exist in one molecule on each side, which normally leaves me with H's and O's. When it comes down to those, it normally isn't easier one way or another but for combustion, I tend to end with the O because sometimes the single O in the water molecule forces the whole equation to be multiplied by 2.

Simi Kapila_3E
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:40 pm
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Simi Kapila_3E » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:26 pm

I think when balancing equations, you should start with balancing the element that occurs the least in the chemical equation, and then go on to balance the other elements in the equation.

Jonathan Malau 1F
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:31 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Jonathan Malau 1F » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:34 pm

The order depends on the chemical equation itself. However, I find that by beginning with balancing the element that "occurs the least", it makes the process much more straight-forward.

Sophia Spungin 2E
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Sophia Spungin 2E » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:56 pm

It's often easiest to begin with an element that does not become split up in the products!

For example, in
C5H12 + O2 --> CO2 + H2O it is easiest to NOT begin with oxygen, as this element appears in both products! In this case, I would probably start with C, followed by H, and then assessing O.

Jessica Manriquez 1H
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:47 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Jessica Manriquez 1H » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:07 pm

I find it really helpful to list right underneath how many units of each element you have, and that way try to figure out how many you would need to make them balanced, after that I go back plug in the values I came up with and then see if it works out.

Shalyn Kelly 3H
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Shalyn Kelly 3H » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:25 pm

Hi! As everyone above has said, I'm pretty sure that there's no set way of balancing them. I tend to leave H and O for last (as they can be the most finicky). I then pick an element that's usually attached to something else (like if Al2 is by itself then it'll likely to be easy to balance later so I'll ignore it at first) and balance it to the other side, often - especially for the longer reactions - writing the numbers below the rxn. Then, I just trial and error my way to a balanced chemical reaction.

Joel Meza 3I
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:56 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Joel Meza 3I » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:29 am

I don't believe there is a correct way to balance chemical reactions, but I find it effective to first balance the element that has the most bonds, which is typically carbon. I hope somewhat helps you out.

305405193
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:47 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby 305405193 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:07 pm

Usually Hyrdogen and Oxygen are left last but every problem is different! A video that helped me understand balancing equations and in which order was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_C-V5vJv80

Scot Widjaja Dis 1J
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:55 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Scot Widjaja Dis 1J » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:35 am

For a combustion reaction, it's easier to balance the oxygen in the reactant last since it only contains one type of atom, whereas the other molecules have more than one atom. Once I've balanced my C's and H's, it's easier to figure out what the coefficient of O should be.

David Liu 1E
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:07 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby David Liu 1E » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:49 pm

There isn't one way to do it, but I definitely find it easier to first try to balance out a molecule that has only one product with it on the right side because by attempting to balance it, a lot of the times the rest of the numbers will balance each other out through trial and error!

Aimee Alvarado 3J
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:47 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Aimee Alvarado 3J » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:45 pm

There really isn't an order as to how to balance equations. I find it easier to separate them into a table with products on one side and reactants on the other. This just helps in figuring out which element would be the best to start with first. However, there are some times where I find that I need to start over and begin with one element first, or else the whole equation will be too much or just be really difficult to balance.

Gicelle Rubin 1E
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:16 am

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Gicelle Rubin 1E » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:01 pm

Hi! I personally do not really have a particular order I follow when I'm balancing chemical equations. However, I have heard that you should first start off with the element that is repeated the most.

I hope that helps!

Taha 2D
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:50 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Taha 2D » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:03 pm

theres no set order you have to follow but its the easiest to balance the elements which occur the least on both sides of the equation.

miguel zatarain 2B
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:46 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby miguel zatarain 2B » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:34 pm

There isn't a correct order you have to follow. For me, I balance the molecule that is least seen in the reaction (from smallest to biggest)

Juliana Rosales 1H
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Juliana Rosales 1H » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:00 am

There is no order but I go from left to right.

Michelle Nguyen 3F
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:03 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Michelle Nguyen 3F » Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:59 pm

I don't think there is a specific order you need to go in! I was told to balance H's and O's first in HS, and that has helped me out, and hopefully that can help you out too. :)

Carly_Lipschitz_3H
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:56 pm

Re: Balancing Chemical Reactions Order

Postby Carly_Lipschitz_3H » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:51 am

When balancing chemical reactions, there isn't necessarily a specific order that you should go in, but it definitely makes it easier to approach these problems a certain way. While going in order of C, H, then O, will help make the process easier, you don't have to do it. I suggest doing that, though. I start by balancing the element that's in the reaction the most.


Return to “Balancing Chemical Reactions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest