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when using hess's law and cancelling out the data, does it matter if a molecule is on the product or reactant side to cancel with another? I know that they must have the same moles to cancel, but do they have to be on opposite sides of the reaction equation?
Yes, to cancel out they must be on opposite sides of a reaction. A product forms while a reactant is used up. If H2 is formed in one reaction (product) and is then used as a reactant (with the equivalent amount of moles) in another reaction, it will cancel out. Using this same rationale, if they were on the same side they would be added.
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