# Balancing the equation tips

1. Jan 23, 2009

### JOL

I have a problem in balancing the equation can anyone give some tips in balancing them.

2. Jan 23, 2009

### scorpion990

Re: Equations

You can use some tools of linear algebra to balance them, but its not really necessary. Most equations can be balanced by trial-and-error.

If you give us a specific example, somebody will be more likely to help.

3. Jan 23, 2009

### JOL

Re: Equations

One of the example is:

C8H18 + O2 ----> CO + H2O

4. Jan 24, 2009

### symbolipoint

Re: Equations

Notice there are three different atoms to balance. Start with any one you like. Try the carbons. Eight on the left, so you should try making 8 on the right.
C8H18 + O2 -----> 8CO + H2O.

Notice how at least, the Hydrogens now do not balance. How do you get 18 of them on the right? There could be 9 H2O's.
C8H18 + O2 ------> 8CO + 9H2O.

Do the atoms on each side balance yet? The Oxygens do not balance yet. You find 17 Oxygens on right, but only 2 Oxygens on left. How can you represent 17 Oxygens on the left? ... Can you continue from there?

One question I have is, did you really mean "CO", or did you mean, "CO2"? This will make a bit of difference.

Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
5. Jan 24, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

6. Jan 28, 2009

### JOL

Re: Equations

Thanks for the advice on balancing the reactions and I have got them to do.But another problem on my head is to solve the equation,that is the reactants are given and the products are to be written.

7. Jan 28, 2009

### symbolipoint

Re: Equations

What are you asking? Are you asking which products occur if certain reactants are put into mix or solution? Are you asking to find how much of a product occurs if certain reactants are put into mix or solution?

8. Jan 29, 2009

### JOL

Re: Equations

My query is the former one.

9. Jan 29, 2009

### uio

Re: Equations

Make a table in your notebook next to the formula with one before-reaction-coloumn and one after-reaction-coulomn. Write down how many atoms you have of each element in each coloumn, and it get's a lot easier.

10. Jan 29, 2009

### symbolipoint

Re: Equations

Some knowledge of reactions is necessary. Decide based on qualities of the reactants and typical interrelationships which kind of reaction might be expected. Would you expect particular reactants to go through ionic rearrangement, combustion/burning, reduction-oxidation, neutralization(as for acids and bases)?