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Ravela Da Cruz

HS-PS1-2

Introduction to Balancing Chemical equations Study Guide

An equation that is balanced occurs when there is the same number of atoms of each type in both the reactant and product.

INTRODUCTION

Suppose a kid is very good at academics, she is the topper of her school, wins every olympiad, has scholarships too but eats a lot of junk food, doesn’t play any sport, or isn’t involved in any physical activity. Would you call her life a balanced life? The same is in the case of chemical equations. Let’s find out how we can balance chemical equations!

INTRODUCTION TO BALANCING CHEMICAL EQUATIONS

A balanced chemical equation has the same number of atoms of each type on both sides of the reaction, i.e., on the reactant as well as product side. But how can we balance equations? By following these simple steps:

  1. Find out the total number of atoms of each type on both sides of a reaction.
  2. Using coefficients to balance each type of atom.
  3. Then repeating the whole process till the chemical equation is balanced.

Let’s start by balancing easy equations:

1. H₂ + Br₂ → HBr

Step 1: Count the number of atoms of each type on both sides

On the reactant side:

H₂ = 2 H atoms

Br₂ = 2 Br atoms

On the product side:

HBr = 1 H atom

1 Br atom

Step 2: Use coefficient to balance equations

If we use coefficient 2 for the product side, then the equation will get balanced.

H₂ + Br₂ → 2 HBr

The total number of atoms on each side is the same. This chemical equation is now balanced.

2. H₂ + O₂ → H₂O₂

On the reactant side:

H₂ = 2 H atoms

O₂ = 2 O atoms

On the product side:

H₂O₂ = 2 H atoms and

2 O atoms

This means the above equation is already balanced.

3. H₂ + O₂ → H₂O

On the reactant side:

H₂ = 2 H atoms

O₂ = 2 O atoms

On the product side:

H₂O = 2 H atoms

1 O atom

To balance the equation, use coefficient 2 for H₂O 2 H₂ + O₂ → 2 H₂O

Now the O atoms are balanced, but H atoms are not. On the reactant side, H atoms are 2, while on the product side, they are 4. Let’s use coefficient 2 for H₂. 2 H₂ + O₂ → 2 H₂O

Now, this is a balanced equation as all the atoms are equal in number on both sides of the reaction.

CONCLUSION

  • A balanced chemical equation has the same number of atoms of each type on both sides of the reaction, i.e., on the reactant as well as product side.
  • 2 H₂ + O₂ → 2 H₂O is an example of a balanced chemical equation.

FAQs:

1. What is a balanced chemical equation?

A balanced chemical equation has the same number of atoms of each type on both sides of the reaction.

2. Balance the given reaction: H₂ + Cl₂ → HCl

H₂ + Cl₂ → 2 HCl is the balanced chemical equation as the number of atoms are equal on both sides of the arrow.

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SOURCES

  1. Introduction to Balancing Equations: https://www.ck12.org/c/chemistry/balancing-equations/lecture/Introduction-to-Balancing-Chemical-Equations-4374707/. Accessed 7th March 2022.