Basic chemistry

Chemical equation is balanced when ?

Chemical equation

Chemical equation is balanced when ?


A chemical equation (also called a “balance equation” or “reaction equation”) translates, on paper, the rearrangements of atoms that occur during a chemical reaction .

The balance equation of a chemical reaction

In a chemical equation, atoms and molecules are represented by their chemical formula. The chemical reaction , meanwhile, is symbolized by an arrow. The reagents of the reaction are located on the left of this arrow and the products on the right.

When the reaction is reversible – as between nitrogen and hydrogen , which give ammonia and vice versa – the two terms of the equation are separated by a double arrow.

Examples of chemical equations

  • 2 Na + Cl 2 → 2 NaCl
  • 2 H 2 + O 2  → 2 H 2 O
  • C + O 2  → CO 2
  • CH 4 + 2 O 2  → CO 2 + 2H 2 O

Balancing a chemical equation

Sometimes it is necessary to use several molecules of the same nature for a reaction to be initiated. The number of molecules is then indicated in front of its chemical formula. This number of molecules is called the “stoichiometric coefficient”.

According to the law of conservation of the material , the number of reagents of each species must be equal to the number of products of each species. In chemists’ jargon, it is said that a chemical equation must be balanced.

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