Balancing Chemical Equations

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Balancing Chemical Equations

"Simple" Reactions In many instances some simple rules can be employed to balance chemical reactions. These are listed below:

  1. Look for elements that only occur in one compound on each side of the equation and balance those first.
  2. Look for groups of atoms (polyatomic ions) that remain intact from one side of the equation to the other, balance these groups as a unit.
  3. If a reactant or product is present as a free element or monoatomic substance (e.g. Ca(s) or N2(g)) balance that last.

Redox Reactions (i.e. reactions that involve transfer of electrons)