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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Derive chemical equations from narrative descriptions of chemical reactions.
  • Write and balance chemical equations in molecular, total ionic, and net ionic formats.

The preceding chapter introduced the use of element symbols to represent individual atoms. When atoms gain or lose electrons to yield ions, or combine with other atoms to form molecules, their symbols are modified or combined to generate chemical formulas that appropriately represent these species. Extending this symbolism to represent both the identities and the relative quantities of substances undergoing a chemical (or physical) change involves writing and balancing a chemical equation    . Consider as an example the reaction between one methane molecule (CH 4 ) and two diatomic oxygen molecules (O 2 ) to produce one carbon dioxide molecule (CO 2 ) and two water molecules (H 2 O). The chemical equation representing this process is provided in the upper half of [link] , with space-filling molecular models shown in the lower half of the figure.

This figure shows a balanced chemical equation followed below by a representation of the equation using space-filling models. The equation reads C H subscript 4 plus 2 O subscript 2 arrow C O subscript 2 plus 2 H subscript 2 O. Under the C H subscript 4, the molecule is shown with a central black sphere, representing a C atom, to which 4 smaller white spheres, representing H atoms, are distributed evenly around. All four H atoms are bonded to the central black C atom. This is followed by a plus sign. Under the 2 O subscript 2, two molecules are shown. The molecules are each composed of two red spheres bonded together. The red spheres represent O atoms. To the right of an arrow and under the C O subscript 2, appears a single molecule with a black central sphere with two red spheres bonded to the left and right. Following a plus sign and under the 2 H subscript 2 O, are two molecules, each with a central red sphere and two smaller white spheres attached to the lower right and lower left sides of the central red sphere. Note that in space filling models of molecules, spheres appear slightly compressed in regions where there is a bond between two atoms.
The reaction between methane and oxygen to yield carbon dioxide and water (shown at bottom) may be represented by a chemical equation using formulas (top).

This example illustrates the fundamental aspects of any chemical equation:

  1. The substances undergoing reaction are called reactants , and their formulas are placed on the left side of the equation.
  2. The substances generated by the reaction are called products , and their formulas are placed on the right sight of the equation.
  3. Plus signs (+) separate individual reactant and product formulas, and an arrow (⟶) separates the reactant and product (left and right) sides of the equation.
  4. The relative numbers of reactant and product species are represented by coefficients (numbers placed immediately to the left of each formula). A coefficient of 1 is typically omitted.

It is common practice to use the smallest possible whole-number coefficients in a chemical equation, as is done in this example. Realize, however, that these coefficients represent the relative numbers of reactants and products, and, therefore, they may be correctly interpreted as ratios. Methane and oxygen react to yield carbon dioxide and water in a 1:2:1:2 ratio. This ratio is satisfied if the numbers of these molecules are, respectively, 1-2-1-2, or 2-4-2-4, or 3-6-3-6, and so on ( [link] ). Likewise, these coefficients may be interpreted with regard to any amount (number) unit, and so this equation may be correctly read in many ways, including:

  • One methane molecule and two oxygen molecules react to yield one carbon dioxide molecule and two water molecules.
  • One dozen methane molecules and two dozen oxygen molecules react to yield one dozen carbon dioxide molecules and two dozen water molecules.
  • One mole of methane molecules and 2 moles of oxygen molecules react to yield 1 mole of carbon dioxide molecules and 2 moles of water molecules.
This image has a left side, labeled, “Mixture before reaction” separated by a vertical dashed line from right side labeled, “Mixture after reaction.” On the left side of the figure, two types of molecules are illustrated with space-filling models. Six of the molecules have only two red spheres bonded together. Three of the molecules have four small white spheres evenly distributed about and bonded to a central, larger black sphere. On the right side of the dashed vertical line, two types of molecules which are different from those on the left side are shown. Six of the molecules have a central red sphere to which smaller white spheres are bonded. The white spheres are not opposite each other on the red atoms, giving the molecule a bent shape or appearance. The second molecule type has a central black sphere to which two red spheres are attached on opposite sides, resulting in a linear shape or appearance. Note that in space filling models of molecules, spheres appear slightly compressed in regions where there is a bond between two atoms. On each side of the dashed line, twelve red, three black, and twelve white spheres are present.
Regardless of the absolute numbers of molecules involved, the ratios between numbers of molecules of each species that react (the reactants) and molecules of each species that form (the products) are the same and are given by the chemical reaction equation.

Questions & Answers

so is HCl ionic compound
Honest Reply
No, covalent compound ➡️ molecule. As both H and Cl are non-metals and and form covalent bind by sharing valence e-. But can fully ionice in water forming H+ (a proton, a reason for acidity) and Cl- (anion =Chloride) Hydrogen Chloride is a gas at room; Hydrochloric acid = HCl (aq), dissolved in w
Abdelkarim
Form covalenr bond*
Abdelkarim
The question marks are an emoji in the first sentence is an unread emoji. HCl Covalent compund -> molecule
Abdelkarim
what is chemistry
Chukwu Reply
where can I get the test bank or mcqs ? any idea ?
Sourav Reply
what are the types of intermolecular forces between organic compounds
Eke Reply
What is chemistry
khausar Reply
scientific study of structure of substances and of the way that they react with other substances
Haider
Thanks
khausar
welcome
Haider
Hi
khausar
hi 2
Haider
whr u from
Haider
are u writing GCE
Equin
Cameroon and u
Equin
hello
Daniel
Please what nuclear fusion and nuclear fission
ALABI Reply
في التسمية الشائعة للكيتونات يتم للمجموعة التي phenone إضافة لفظ تحتوي على الفينل
Zahara Reply
what is organic chemistry
God Reply
what is thyroid land
lynda Reply
what is density
Fathmat Reply
A measure of the amount of matter contained by a given volume. The ratio of one quantity to that of another quantity.
Anoruo
mass divided by volume i.e. g/cm^3
Walter
A
lynda
density is the mass per unit volume of a substance
Daniel
A
Fifa
what's molarity?
Okpaka Reply
the concentration of a substance in solution, expressed as the number moles of solute per litre of solution
Anoruo
Please help me solve this question. A is a solution of 0.995mol/dm cube hydrochloride acid. B was prepared by diluting 10cm cube of a saturated solution of sodium trioxocarbonate (iv) to 100cm cube at room temperature. Assuming that 21.50cm cube of A reacted with 25cm cube of B. Calculate: i. Concentration of solution B in mol/dm cube. ii.Solubility of sodium trioxocarbonate (iv) at room temperature. Equation of the reaction: Na2Co3 +2HCL------> 2NaCL +H2O +CO2.
Mercy Reply
I don't know whether it's ok or not, but the answers I got are: I. 0.428 mol/dm^3 II. 4.54g per 100 g of water
Nazifa
In the first one, I first found out the amount of HCl in mol using moles=concentration x volume. Then I checked the ratio of Na2CO3 to HCl, which is 0.5 to 1. Therefore the moles of Na2CO3 will be half of HCl. Using the amount in moles and the volume as 25 cm^3, I reached my answer!
Nazifa
In the second one, it says that 10 cm^3 has saturated Na2CO3 solution. Using the concentration we found in previous answer, I found out the moles present in 10cm^3. After that, using mass= moles x RFM, I got it's mass. As for the mass of water, we know 1 cm^3 gives 1g, so 10 cm^3 gives 10g.....
Nazifa
Using solubility= mass of solute/mass of solvent x 100, we reach the answer.
Nazifa
Note: we will not use the volume of solution to be 100 cm^3, because then the solution will be dilute.
Nazifa
plz do correct me if I'm wrong!! ☺️
Nazifa
is like the answer is 900
lynda
how can I make citric acid crystals from lemon juice
Traceyo Reply
Write the resonance hybrids of furan and thiophene
Hydrolysis of CH3CH2NO2 with 85% H2SO4 gives? 2/Acetaldehyde is oxidised with potassium dichromate and sulphuric acid gives 3/ When benzyl alcohol is oxidised with KMnO4, the product obtained ? 4/ Benzyl chloride is oxidised with KOH4, the 5/
Hydrolysis of CH3CH2NO2 with 85% H2SO4 gives?
Define reduction in term of loss or gain of oxygen or hydrogen give an example.
Aneela
CuO + Mg → Cu + MgO removing oxygen is reduction. here Mg is reducing agent(loss of electrons)
Haider
reduction >> reduc(+)ion mean (+)ion reduced mean electron gained by (+)ion (+)ion means H(+).
Haider
How what works
Eric Reply
Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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