Balancing Chemical Equations

When balancing equations, it is useful to begin with the equation skeleton.  Then select the coefficients for the elements that appear only once on each side of the equation.  Try to balance carbon and hydrogen atoms last.  The complete equation includes the the physical state shown in parentheses after the chemical formula for each reactant and product. The "s" stands for "solid", "g" for "gas" , "l" for "liquid" and "aq" for aqueous (when a compound is dissolved in water). Here are some unbalanced equations to practice your balancing skills on:

CuS(s) + O2(g)  +  C(s)     ----->  SO2   +  Cu(s)    +   CO(g)

C6H12O6(aq)  +  O      ---->    CO2  +  H2O(l)

C8H18(l)   +  O2 (g)   ---->    CO2(g)  +  H2O(l)

  If you would like more practice balancing equations try this calculator.

Quick Quiz: When dinitrogen tetroxide decomposes the only product is nitrogen dioxide. What are the coeffients for the reactant and product in the balanced equation?

1 reactant, 1 product

2 reactant 2 product.

1 reactant 2 product.

2 reactant 8 product

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