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You would typically use an ICE table when the reaction involves a weak acid or weak base. You would use molar ratios when the reaction involves a strong acid or strong base as these types of reactants completely dissociate. Weak acids and weak bases do not completely dissociate and thus, we would have to create an ICE table to evaluate the equilibruim concentration of the reactants and products due to the fact that the forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates and are continuously forming more product and reactant.
ICE tables will be used when you know the initial concentrations of all the reactants (initial concentration of products will be zero) and the equilibrium concentration of one of the molecules involved in the chemical reaction. Using the table, you will enter the given information and use molar ratios to find the equilibrium concentration of all of the molecules involved in the chemical reaction. From there, you may be asked to find the equilibrium constant which can be found with the use of the molecular concentrations at equilibrium.
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