# 4.1 Writing and balancing chemical equations

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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 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 $\text{(⟶)}$ 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.

differenciate between fat and oil
what is the meaning of coordinate bond
It is the alternative for dative which is a covalent bond but both electrons of the pair are from shared from the same (one) atom.
Abdelkarim
can someone please tell me what does an Entropy means
what is chemistry?
what is chemistry
Afiwape
chemistry is a brach of science which deal with the study of the nature, composition structure and with the force that hold the structure together and the change matter will undergo undedifferent conditions
Afiwape
And god has created everything from nothing
Abdelkarim
forms of biotechnology
What is a mole?
pls give me 3 type of transition metal
Copper, Scandium, Vanadium, Iron, Chromium, Cobalt
Jumaane-Kalif
ion zinc hydrogen
Abdul
that is not true
Jumaane-Kalif
stop posting foolishness
Jumaane-Kalif
how do I name compounds
depends on the compound. as you may know there's transition metal compounds and there's organic compounds and so on and so forth.
Jumaane-Kalif
what is electricity
electricity refers to the flow electrons
John
Hi. please can you tell me more on chemical equation
When 1 or 2 chemicals react, they rearrange their atomic composition forming new compounds. The total mass before and after is the same/ constant. Chemical equations of same reactants react in same ratios e.g. 1 Na ion reacts with 1 water molecule or a multipier like 1 mole of Na ions react with 1
Abdelkarim
Mole of water molecules. In that example we multipied by 6.02*10^23 or avogadro constant (L). Or 2 Na+ ions with two water molecules. The arrow means '' to form '' Some times conditions or reactants are written above the arrow like H+ or enzyme or temper, sometimes physical states are written
Abdelkarim
Beside the chemical Aqueous (aq) which means solute dissolved on water. Solid (s) etc Some chemical equations are written next to it ΔH= # which means enthalpy change which describes if the reaction is endothermic (+) or exothermic (-).
Abdelkarim
Some are reversible and have half double arrow sign.
Abdelkarim
what is the meaning of atoma
what is theory
what is chemical compound
Lorrita
A compound is the result of chemical bonding between 2 or more different elements.
Abdelkarim
Why is an atom electrically neutral?
Clara
the same number of electron , proton present in an atom.thats why it is electrically neutral
debibandita
difference between Amine and amide
what is the difference between alkanal and alkanone
difference between alkanol and alkanal
Michael
whaatt
Saturday
you are not well at all
Ibrahim
is organic compounds used for drying agent
Sulfuric acid is used as a drying agent.
Abdelkarim
what is an atom
An atom is the smallest part of an element, for instance gold atoms are the smallest part of gold that can enter a reaction. An atom must consist protons and electrons of equal number. You can think of those subatomic particles as spheres, but not orbiting randomly they move in specific way in
Abdelkarim
That was partially described mathematically. As a muslim, we believe that god created all matter from nothing. He is the Able, and only who can create matter in the begging in the big bang that was described in the Quran in chapter 17 verse 30, 1400 years ago, you can read it from internet.
Abdelkarim
what is electron affinity
John
do you have a private jet
Ibrahim