In this lesson we will revise how to balance a chemical equation to reflect the conservation of mass during a chemical reaction.
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
- Write word equations and formula equations to represent chemical reactions.
- Include states of matter in formula equations.
- Balance formula equations to reflect conservation of mass.
- A word equation shows the chemical names of all reactants and products involved in a chemical reaction.
- A formula equation shows the chemical formulas of reactants and products.
- Formula equations may also include the states of matter of reactants and products, in brackets after each chemical formula.
- (s) represents solids.
- (l) represents liquids.
- (g) represents gases.
- (aq) represents aqueous solutions.
- A balanced equation shows the ratios of reactants and products.
- A balanced equation reflects the Law of Conservation of Mass and shows that atoms are neither created nor destroyed during a chemical reaction, but only rearranged.
- Steps for balancing a chemical equation:
- Write the formula equation showing all reactants and products.
- Tally up the total numbers of each type of atom for both sides of the equation.
- Place coefficients in front of reactants and products until there are equal numbers of each type of atom on both sides of the equation.
(Header image: JSquish, Wikimedia Commons)