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Homework Help: Balancing disproportionation redox reaction

  1. Jan 4, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Complete and balance the following reaction:
    Cl2 + OH- → Cl- + ClO-

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    So, I did it like any other redox:
    Cl2 + 2e- → 2Cl-
    2Cl2 + 4OH- → 2ClO- + 2H2O + 2e-

    Net reaction: 3Cl2 + 4OH- → 2Cl- + 2ClO- + 2H2O

    However, the answer is Cl2 + 2OH- → Cl- + ClO- + H2O

    So I googled and found this: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090410003712AApVw5v
    But why is my method wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2016 #2
    The reaction you propose has six chlorine atoms on the left, but only four on the right.
  4. Jan 4, 2016 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If in doubt, check if elements and charge are balanced in all reactions and half reactions.
  5. Jan 4, 2016 #4
    Sorry! I balanced and rechecked everything besides Cl itself.
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