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Balancing Equations

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**Rules for Writing and Balancing Equations:**

1.Determine the correct formulas for all the reactants and products. 2.Write the skeleton equation. (Use + signs between products and to separate reactants from products.)

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3.Count the number of atoms of each element in the reactants and products…left…right…left…right…left…right 4.Balance the elements one at a time by using coefficients. (if no coefficient, assume it to be 1). NEVER balance an equation by changing a subscript!

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**5.Check each atom when you’re done to be certain they are equal on both sides of the equation.**

6.Make sure all your coefficients are in the lowest possible ratio.

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**Count how many of the first element you have on the reactant side.**

Zn + HCl ZnCl2 + H2 1 Zn Count how many of the first element you have on the reactant side.

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Zn + HCl ZnCl2 + H2 1 Zn 1 Zn Then count how many of that SAME element you have on the product side.

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Zn + HCl ZnCl2 + H2 2 1 Zn 1 Zn 2H 1H If the two numbers are equal, go to next element. If not equal, add a coefficient in front of that compound to make them equal.

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Zn + 2HCl ZnCl2 + H2 Continue moving from left to right counting atoms on both sides of the equation and adding coefficients when needed.

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Zn + 2HCl ZnCl2 + H2 When you reach the go back to the beginning and recheck everything…left to right, left to right, left to right.

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Zn + 2HCl ZnCl2 + H2 Check your equation one more time to make sure it’s correct. Left to right, left to right, left to right…

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