How to balance an equation for the incomplete combustion of acetic acid?

  • #1
Thecla
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TL;DR Summary
how to balance incomplete combustion of acetic acid equation
Balancing the complete combustion of acetic acid equation to carbon dioxide and water is straightforward if you remember hydrogen is always +1, elemental oxygen is zero and combined oxygen is always -2. just balance the exchange of electrons between oxygen and carbon. But how do you balance the equation when the product is carbon dioxide ,carbon monoxide, and water?
 
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  • #2
You don't, oxidation to CO and oxidation to CO2 are two separate reactions. They can occur both at the same time, but then the process is not described by a unique stoichiometry (i.e. there is no single set of coefficients that balance the equation, more like infinite number of sets).

Compare https://www.chembuddy.com/balancing-stoichiometry-balancing-failure
 

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