How to balance a chemical equation

While balancing a chemical equation, there has to be the same number of atoms on both sides of the equation. There is the same number of atoms on each of the sides follows through with the concept of the Law of the Conservation of Mass, which states that any matter cannot either be created

While balancing a chemical equation, there has to be the same number of atoms on both sides of the equation. There is the same number of atoms on each of the sides follows through with the concept of the Law of the Conservation of Mass, which states that any matter cannot either be created or be destroyed. Using a chemical equation balancer ensures that one doesn’t commit mistakes while writing the chemical equations:

  1. Making a Table

A chemical equation has both subscripts and coefficients. Subscripts tell one the number of how atoms are in a compound, while the coefficient tells how many moles/molecules of the chemical are there. Make sure to follow the APSA citation style if your teacher has instructed so. If there are no subscripts next to any element, it implies that there is only one atom of it. Under the given chemical equation, make a chart listing the elements present. Next to each of the elements, write down the number of atoms present. If one element has multiple molecules on one side, write each of their numbers separately, then add them up. You can use a word counter tool if you need to frame the tables within a given word count.

  1. Determining and Balancing the First Element

Pick the element that appears in one molecule on the left side and in one molecule on the right. Leave out Hydrogen and Oxygen for last since they are often found in more than one chemical on each side of the equation. Once having determined which element to balance first, add a coefficient to balance that element by multiplying the subscript with the coefficient added. Then adjust the table by multiplying each of the elements affected by the coefficient added to that molecule. Keep repeating this step for the rest of the elements except for Hydrogen and Oxygen. Use ASA referencing style if required.

  1. Balancing Hydrogen

First, balance the Hydrogen with the least amount of atoms. Now, place a necessary coefficient number to balance the Hydrogen from this side to the Hydrogen on the other side with the highest amounts of atoms. Then adjust the table by multiplying each of the elements affected by the coefficient added to that molecule.

  1. Balancing Oxygen

Balance out the Oxygen with the least amount of atoms. Now place a necessary coefficient number to balance the Oxygen from one side with the Oxygen on the other side with the highest amounts of atoms. Now you have balanced a chemical equation successfully.

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Deborah Roughton

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