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The difference between reactions in basic and acidic conditions is that balancing reactions in a base, you would first balance it like how you would in an acid, but since you're in a basic solution now, you would add enough OH- to both sides of the equation to neutralize the H+
In acidic solutions, the concentration of hydronium ions that the concentration of hydroxide ions so H+ should be used to properly balance the half-rxns. So, for basic solutions, OH- should be used because this is the ion that is at a higher concentration in the solution.
Hey, I understand that you add H2O to both basic/acidic solutions and add OH-/H+ to balance the H's for them respectively, but how do you know whether a question is in a basic or acidic solution if it is not mentioned in the question description?
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