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Is this possible to solve with Half Reaction method?

  1. Dec 22, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    C3H5(NO3)3 --> N2 + CO2 + H2O + O2

    2. Relevant equations
    non O and H oxi states as follows
    C: -2/3 to +4
    N: +5 to 0

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Oxi: C3H5(NO3)3 --> CO2 +6e- added 6 electrons to balance net carbon oxi state

    Red: C3H5(NO3)3 +15e- --> N2 added 15 electrons to balance net nitrogen oxi state

    then no idea after this...

    another variant I did for this problem is adjusting for coeffs first
    2C3H5(NO3)3 --> 3N2 + 6CO2 + H2O + O2

    Oxi: 2C3H5(NO3)3 --> 6CO2 + 28e- to balance out carbon oxi state
    Red: 2C3H5(NO3)3 + 15e- --> 3N2

    I know the answers already using conventional trial and error

    However, when I try the half reaction method using Carbon in the oxidation and Nitrogen in the reduction I keep getting complications.

    I do not know if the half reaction method even works for this so please help me if this is possible. Otherwise tell me it's impossible so I can get on with my life
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Half reaction method requires balancing charges for each half reaction separately - as there are no charged species in the reaction, it won't be possible here. Perhaps it can be done using some dirty tricks, but it will be an art for art's sake and a waste of time.
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