How To Balance Chemical Equations: Strategies For Chemistry Students

There are many common substances you will have to write chemical equations for when you’re in high school and college. Chemists need to balance this equation, symbolically, because it has a number of different variables. It will help these individuals to use strategies and formulas that can help them solve these problems properly.


Chemistry students are often faced with balancing equations in their classwork. This can be a difficult task, but there are some simple strategies that can help.

When balancing chemical equations, the first step is to determine which equation is the primary equation. This is usually the equation with the most information in it. Once you have determined which equation is the primary equation, you can start to solve for all of the variables.

To solve an equation, you need to know the values of all of the variables.”Once you have those values, you can use substitution and/or factorization techniques to get rid of parentheses and simplify your problem.”

Once you have solved the primary equation, you can use this information to solve any other questions that may be involved. Pay close attention to parentheses and try to eliminate them as much as possible. If a variable appears more than once in an equation, make sure to Statistics For Chemistry Students: A Comprehensive Guide To Data Analysis And Inference Solution Sheet 8×11 inches identify what each appearance means and use that information when solving for the variable in question.”

Law of Mass Action

Chemistry students often struggle with balancing chemical equations. In this blog post, we discuss some strategies for balancing equations that can help you succeed in chemistry.

The first step is to identify the reactants and products of the balance equation. This can be done by reading the parentheses and identifying which atoms are being used in each reaction. Once you know this information, it is easy to figure out how much of each element must be present for the reaction to occur.

Next, work out how much energy is needed for the reactions to occur. This can be done by calculating the concentrations of reactants and products, multiplying them by their respective reaction cations’ amounts, and adding these values together. The energy needed for a reaction will then be equal to this sum.

Finally, take into account any physical constraints that may affect the reaction. These might include temperatures or stoichiometric ratios (the amount of one element required for a reacting mixture to remain in balance). Whenever possible, try to use these constraints to your advantage by choosing variables that will make predicting the energy need easier.

Law of Conservation Of Matter

The law of conservation of matter states that the mass or quantity of a substance remains constant over time, except in special cases. This law is important when balancing chemical equations because it determines how much of each reactant molecule are allowed to combine with each other. The equation can be balanced using Chevrons or an Oxidation-Reduction (OR) equation.

To balance an equation using Chevrons, add up the totals for all the brackets: 


In this case, nine total Cl atoms are required to make a CH_3Cl molecule, and 14 total Cl atoms are needed to make a mole of CH_3Cl. So, there must be at least as many Cl atoms in the bracketed amounts as there are moles of CH_3Cl in the entire equation. When balancing equations with ORs, don’t forget to factor in half-life! For example: 

[2CrO4(s) = 2Cr(g) + 4O2(g)]

In this example, two CrO4 molecules will combine to form two Cr(g) molecules and four O2 (g) molecules. So, there must be at least as many O2 (g) molecules in the bracketed amount as there are CrO4 (s) moles in the entire equation.

Types of Chemical Equations

In order to balance chemical equations, students need to be aware of the different types of chemical equations. There are classical, empirical, and structural chemical equations. Classical equations use balanced expressions that can be proven using basic principles of mathematics. Empirical equations are derived from experiments and make use of empirical laws. Structural equations involve the structures of molecules and ions in a solution and must be solved numerically.

Another factor that needs to be taken into account when balancing chemical equations is thermodynamics. Thermodynamics dictates the energetics of substances and relationships between variables in movements or processes. It is important to understand these dynamics in order to properly solve for Equations of State (EOS). Equations of State can be solved using mathematical models or computer programs such as UCSCchem2D or Protobuilder. When solving Equations of State, it is important to keep track of all the entropies along with other thermodynamic data such as temperatures and pressures. Once all data has been collected, an equilibrium solution can then be found which will reflect the correct configuration for the system.

Balancing Chemical Equations

Chemistry students often find themselves balancing chemical equations in their heads. Here are some tips for making the process easier.

1. Start by breaking the equation down into its constituent parts. In the example below,water is on the left and ethanol is on the right:

H2O + Ethanol → H2O+CO2

2. Find the major class of elements involved. In this equation, water and ethanol are both molecules, so they are classified as molecules. By contrast, carbon dioxide is a molecule composed of two atoms of carbon, so it is classified as an element.

3. Find all coefficients that contain information about the mass or number of particles. In this equation, water has a molecular weight (MW) of 18 grams/mol, and ethanol has a molecular weight of 44 grams/mol. Both molecules have the same number of atoms (22), so their coefficients are simply 1g/mol and 2g/mol, respectively. Carbon dioxide has a molecular weight of 44 grams/mol but contains twice as many atoms (44), so its coefficient is 2g/mol squared (144).

4. Use properties of substances to simplify equations. Water’s boiling point is 212°F (100°C), so water can be written as H2O(l) ↔ H2O( liquid ) at 100°C . The freezing point of ethanol is -39°F (-38°C), so ethyl acetate


In this final article in our series on how to balance chemical equations, we will be looking at strategies for students who are struggling with balancing chemical equations. These strategies can help you to understand and learn about the properties of substances, and make calculations easier. Hopefully, by following these tips, your chemistry skills will start to improve!

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