Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Balancing of Chemical Equations - Tips


We received an enquiry from "Vintage Deadly" for tips on balancing chemicals equations. Yes. We noticed that students in Singapore seems to be weak in Balancing of Chemical Equations and Mole Concepts.

There are indeed TIPS on balancing chemical equations, and i think schools might not have shared this TIPS - or i would just like to say - Simple Rules, to follow when balancing equations.

Rules for Balancing Equations

1. Determine the correct formulas for all the reactants and products in the reaction.

2. Write the formulas for the reactants on the left and the formulas for the products on the right with an arrow in between. If two or more reactants or products are involved, separate their formulas with plus signs.

3. Count the number of atoms of each element in the reactants and products. A polyatomic ion appearing unchanged on both sides of the equation is counted as a single unit.

4. Balance the elements one at a time by using coefficients. A coefficient is a small whole number that appears in front of a formula of an equation. When no coefficient is written, it is assumed to be 1.

5. It is best to begin with an element other than hydrogen or oxygen. These two elements often occur more than twice in an equation. Start with the Metals (Grp 1, 2 Transition metals), follows by the none metals (Grp 4-7). Oxygen atoms is the second last and Hydrogen atoms shall be the last. (Most Impt Information that is usually not shared.Not sure why also)

You must not attempt to balance an equation by changing the subscripts in the chemical formula of a substance.

6. Check each atom or polyatomic ion to be sure that the equation is balanced.

7. Finally, make sure that all the coefficients are in the lowest possible ratio

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need further assistance.