# Balancing disproportionation redox reaction

• erisedk
In summary, the conversation discusses a problem in balancing a reaction involving chlorine, OH-, Cl-, and ClO-. The individual provides their attempted solution using the redox method, but it does not result in a balanced equation. After researching, they discover that their method is incorrect due to an imbalance in the number of chlorine atoms on each side of the equation. They are reminded to always check for balanced elements and charges in all reactions and half reactions.
erisedk

## Homework Statement

Complete and balance the following reaction:
Cl2 + OH- → Cl- + ClO-

## 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?

The reaction you propose has six chlorine atoms on the left, but only four on the right.

erisedk said:
2Cl2 + 4OH- → 2ClO- + 2H2O + 2e-

If in doubt, check if elements and charge are balanced in all reactions and half reactions.

Sorry! I balanced and rechecked everything besides Cl itself.
Thanks!

## 1. What is a disproportionation redox reaction?

A disproportionation redox reaction is a type of chemical reaction in which one substance is both oxidized and reduced at the same time, resulting in the formation of two different products. This type of reaction involves the transfer of electrons from one atom or molecule to another, resulting in a change in oxidation states.

## 2. Why is balancing disproportionation redox reactions important?

Balancing disproportionation redox reactions is important because it allows us to accurately determine the quantities of substances involved in the reaction. This information is crucial for understanding the stoichiometry of the reaction and predicting the products that will be formed.

## 3. How do you balance a disproportionation redox reaction?

To balance a disproportionation redox reaction, you must first identify which atoms are being oxidized and which are being reduced. Then, you can balance the reaction using the half-reaction method, which involves balancing the number of atoms and charges on each side of the reaction equation.

## 4. What are some tips for balancing disproportionation redox reactions?

One tip for balancing disproportionation redox reactions is to always start by balancing the atoms that are not involved in the redox process. Another tip is to use the oxidation state method to determine the changes in oxidation states for each atom in the reaction.

## 5. Can disproportionation reactions occur in biological systems?

Yes, disproportionation reactions can occur in biological systems. One example is the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which catalyzes the disproportionation of superoxide radicals into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. This process is important for maintaining the balance of reactive oxygen species in cells.

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