In this series of videos, we're going to take a look at balancing chemical equations. When balancing, always make sure the type and number of atoms on both sides of the arrow are equal. We're going to say in a balanced equation, the numbers that are in red are referred to as the coefficients. So we have 2, 1, and 2 as the coefficients for this balanced equation. And when we're talking about type and number of atoms, we'd say that these coefficients get distributed. So this 2 would get distributed to this hydrogen. There's already 2 of them, so 2×2 gives me 4 hydrogens. This is just a 1, so 1×2 is 2 oxygens. On the other side, the 2 gets distributed, so it'd be 2×2 hydrogens which would give me 4 hydrogens. But there's also 1 oxygen here, so 2×1 gives me 2 oxygens. So the types of atoms are the same on both sides. I have hydrogen and hydrogen, oxygen and oxygen, and then the numbers of each are equal on both sides: 4 hydrogens, 4 hydrogens, 2 oxygens, 2 oxygens. This is how we ensure a chemical equation is balanced. The types and numbers of each atoms are the same on both sides of the arrow. Now, click on the next video and let's take a look at an example question where we go more refined at our approach to balancing a chemical equation.

# Balancing Chemical Equations (Simplified) - Online Tutor, Practice Problems & Exam Prep

**Balancing Chemical Equations** require the number of atoms to be the same on both sides of the arrow.

## Balancing Chemical Equations

### Balancing Chemical Equations (Simplified) Concept 1

#### Video transcript

### Balancing Chemical Equations (Simplified) Example 1

#### Video transcript

Here we're told to write the balanced equation for the following by inserting the correct coefficients in the blanks. Alright. So we have here C_{4}H_{10} gas reacting with O_{2} gas to produce and give us H_{2}O liquid and CO_{2} gas. Right. So step 1, we have to set up a list for the elements that are reactants, and another list for the elements that are products. Right. So on the reactant side we have 4 carbons, 10 hydrogens, and 2 oxygens. On the product side, we have 1 carbon, 2 hydrogens, and then we have 3 oxygens. We can see the lists don't match, and that's because the equation is imbalanced.

So step 2, we're gonna start from the top and go down both lists to determine how many of each element is present. Now here, this is important. If a polyatomic ion is present on both sides, then treat it as a single unit. So, for example, if one side had 1 phosphate ion, and the other side had 3 phosphate ions, you make sure that this side also has 3 phosphate ions. In this particular equation, we don't have to worry about polyatomic ions; there are none.

And then here, step 3. Starting from the top and going down both lists, begin balancing each element to ensure they match. Sometimes you may have a decimal or fraction as a coefficient, and so multiply the equation by 2. Alright. So let's start doing this. We have 4 carbons here but only 1 here, so I'm gonna put a 4 right here. That 4 gets distributed to the carbon, but it also gets distributed to the oxygen. So it's gonna be 4 times 2, which is 8, plus one more is 9 oxygens now. Keep going down the list. The carbons are balanced because they're both the same. Keep going down the list. Hydrogens. Here we have 10 and here we have 2. We need this side to also have 10, so I am going to put a coefficient of 5 here. The 5 gets distributed to the hydrogen, so 5 times 2 gives me 10 hydrogens, but then it also gets distributed to the oxygen. So 5 times 1 is 5 oxygens here, and remember we still have another 8 over here. So that's 5 oxygens plus 8 oxygens gives us 13 total oxygens on the product side.

Finally, we have to look at the oxygens. Here we have 2 and here we have 13. So you have to think of a number that I can multiply by 2, which will give me 13. If I put a 6.5 here, that's 6.5 times 2, which gives me 13. Both lists match because now my equation is balanced. But remember step 3 says that we cannot have fractions or decimals as coefficients. When that happens, I multiply the entire equation by 2. Okay? So this whole thing will get multiplied by 2. So this coefficient of 1 gets multiplied by 2, this coefficient of 6.5 gets multiplied by 2, this coefficient of 5 gets multiplied by 2, and then this coefficient of 4 gets multiplied by 2. So these are the new coefficients that we're gonna have for each of these compounds. So we're gonna have 2 C_{4}H_{10} gas + 13 O_{2} gas, gives me or produces 10 H_{2}O liquid + 8 CO_{2} gas. So here, this would represent the coefficients for each of the compounds, and all we have to do is insert the correct coefficients in the blanks provided. So those would be the values that you put: 2, 13, 10, and 8.

Write the balanced equation for the following by inserting the correct coefficients in the blanks.

Determine the total sum of the coefficients after balancing the following equation.

#### Problem Transcript

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