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Homework Help: Half-Reaction in chemistry

  1. Oct 10, 2006 #1
    I don't understand this question in my chemistry book. It's not homework, I'm just studying, but I would really like to know.

    What are the coefficients in front of nitrate ion and zinc when the following equation is balanced in a basic solution:

    ___ NO3-(aq) + ___ Zn(s) --> ___ Zn2+(aq) + ___ NO(g)?

    1) 2, 5
    2) 2, 3
    3) 3, 4
    4) 3, 2

    That's the nitrate ion, zinc, zinc with a 2+ charge, and NO. Can someone explain how to do this? Also, what is the answer, so I can work backwards?

    So far, it looks to me like both reactants are being oxidised, so I'm left with a big half-reaction with electrons.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2006 #2
    Alright, I finally got it! As it turns out, my error the whole time was labeling H as a negative ion in my reduction reaction.
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