Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

 Posts: 91
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:59 pm
Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Hi! I was just wondering whether or not leaving a fraction as a stoichiometric coefficient would make a balancing chemical reaction problem incorrect. I prefer whole number stoichiometric coefficients myself, but am just asking to be sure. Thank you in advance!

 Posts: 82
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:31 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
The stoichiometric coefficients must be whole numbers  that's just the preferred convention.

 Posts: 95
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:33 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
The stoichiometric coefficient is written in front of atoms, ion and molecules in a chemical reaction to balance the number of each element on the reactant and product sides of the equation. The stoichiometric coefficients can be fractions, but whole numbers are more commonly used and preferred. This stoichiometric coefficients establish the mole ratio between reactants and products, and having whole number ratios makes for easier conversions.

 Posts: 97
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:56 pm
 Been upvoted: 1 time
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Usually when you get fractions for the coefficient, you just have to multiply all the coefficients by its denominator. That way you can get whole numbers for all the coefficients. I don't think anyone ever leaves the fraction as is.

 Posts: 92
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:54 pm
 Been upvoted: 1 time
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
As a few have already stated, the convention is to make the stoichiometric coefficients whole numbers. I think it generally makes the balanced equation easier to grasp and look neater overall. Having fractions unnecessarily complicates things, but it can be a bit of work to get there depending on the equation in question.

 Posts: 91
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:10 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Stoichiometric coefficients should be whole numbers. If a coefficient is a fraction, all coefficients should be multiplied by the denominator of the fraction so they will all be whole numbers.
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Hi! While it's correct to have a fraction, I think it's preferred to change it to a whole number. If it's written as a fraction you just have to multiply through by the denominator which does not take alot of time. I would go better safe than sorry and change to a whole number
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Hi! While it's correct to have a fraction, I think it's preferred to change it to a whole number. If it's written as a fraction you just have to multiply through by the denominator which does not take alot of time. I would go better safe than sorry and change to a whole number

 Posts: 92
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:46 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
In lecture Lavelle stated that we need to get rid of fractions as stochiometric coefficients should be whole numbers. So I assume that in the homework, exams, and in general we should make it a habit to convert fractions in chemical equations to whole numbers.
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
Technically yes it would still be mathematically correct from the surface level. However, if you think about the situation logically, you will realize it's impossible to have half an atom (in that regard), or to just split a molecule down the middle. So, while the math is basically correct, nonwhole number stoichiometric coefficients are scientifically illogical and shouldn't be used.

 Posts: 53
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
It wouldn't technically be incorrect, but whole numbers are the preferred way of balancing equations. To do this, you can just multiply everything on both sides by the denominator to get rid of the fraction.

 Posts: 96
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:00 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
It is much easier to work with whole number in balanced stoichiometric equations, so that is recommended, although fractions in a balanced equation would not technically be wrong, just harder to work out. Dr. Lavelle also mentioned it would be better to use whole numbers when balancing stoichiometric equations.

 Posts: 98
 Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:51 pm
Re: Whole Number Stoichiometric Coefficients
I think Dr. Lavelle prefers having all stoichiometric coefficients as whole numbers rather than fractions. You can just multiply the entire balanced equation's coefficients by the fraction's denominator to achieve the whole numbers.
Return to “Balancing Chemical Reactions”
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest