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Atom balance

  • #1

Homework Statement


One mole of CO and 1/2 mole of oxygen are mixed and the products consist of CO2, CO, O2, and O. Write the atom balance for C and O.


Homework Equations



Mass conservation

The Attempt at a Solution


1/2(O2)+CO2 -> aCO2 +bCO+cO2 +dO.
a, b, c, d are unknowns.

I make a table:

Element Reactants Products
C 1 a+b
O 2 2a+b+2c+d

Its unsolvable. 2 equations and 4 unknowns. But the answer is CO2 <-> CO+1/2(O2)

How?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
34,239
10,281
It is solvable with a unique solution, if you consider a final state without CO (CO would just indicate your reaction was not complete) and take into account that O2 cannot be negative and O won't happen.
 
  • #3
Borek
Mentor
28,398
2,800
Strange question. How is atom balance defined?
 

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