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Homework Help: How do you balance equations with 3 reactants?

  1. Oct 27, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Ca3(PO4)2 + C + SiO2 --> CaSiO3 + CO + P4

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm okay with balancing reactions that have 2 reactants but when there's 3 i take an extremely long time to do it. is there any easy way or strategy to go about balancing these kinds of equations?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2013 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It all comes down to counting atoms.

    In your reaction above, you know that the calcium-silicon ratio on the right side is 1:1, because only a single product contains all of the calcium and silicon you started with. Therefore, as a start, I would adjust the quantities of the reactants to bring the Ca:Si ratio to 1:1. Once that is done, you go down the list of other atoms, checking their ratios. The more complicated the reaction, the more time it will take to adjust everything.
  4. Oct 28, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    No special strategies, but you will find it becomes easier with practice.
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