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Physical Science Notes 416-436
Balancing Chemical Equations
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Balancing can be hard, but if you break it down its not so bad

Balancing Chemical Equations

 

The goal in balancing a chemical equation is to have an equal reactant and product.

 

Things to remember:

bce.jpg

 

They are separated, not chemically bonded

Think of this: 

                Big people dont need to hold   

                hands to cross the street.

They are chemically bonded.

Think of this:

      Little people need to hold hands before          

      they can cross the street.

*Note: This only applies to drawing chemical equations*

 

How to balance a chemical equation:

 

The equation we will use will be: Li2 + H2O ---> LiOH

 

1. To make things easier, always show yourself what you are working with.

Li2 + H2O ---> LiOH

2 Li    2H          1Li

                         1O

                         1H

Remember:

            -If it is part of the same compound write them under each other

-How do you tell if its the same compound? Simple, compounds and/or elements will be separated by a + sign or an arrow ---> etc.

-To help yourself always write elements down as you see them. If you have Li dont write li or LI. It gets confusing and often problems arise.

 

2. Next you start the balancing.

fig3.jpg

Remember:

-Always do your Hydrogen (H) and then Oxygen (O) last. There is usually a lot of them and less of the other elements. Do the others first.

 

3. Check over your work.

fig4.jpg

Remember:

-Re-doing the question never hurts. Re-do the question on the side if time allows it. But DO NOT look at your previous answer while re-doing. Covering and re-doing it is best.

-Compare your answers. If there is something wring between the two re-do it again.

-Count how many of an element you have on each side (reactant = product) comparing your Hs then your Os last.

 

4. Drawing the balanced chemical equation.

-Before you can begin your drawing of chemical equations, you must balance them first. In this case within steps 1-3 we balanced an equation, so we will sue the same one: Li2 + H2O ---> 2LiOH

-You must draw a legend stating what symbol you will be using to represent each element.

fig5.jpg

-Check over whether or not your drawing is correct. To do so count the amount of each symbol you have on each side and compare it to the amount on the other. Also compare the balanced chemical equation to your picture a few times.

-Finally if time allows, re-do the drawing on the side and compare your results.

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