Question #19eb9

1 Answer
Jan 13, 2014

There are 2 ways to balance equations with polyatomic ions
The long way and the short way

The way NOT to do it - don't just look at the atoms and start guessing at numbers and ratios. This will only confuse you

Instead I like to follow the method that I teach in this video:

Draw all the atoms under the video and then mark down how many you have on each side of the equation

Add coefficients before each molecule and update your numbers till they match (video takes you through examples)

This method works for simple examples, but gets confusing when you have many atoms and polyatomics

So let's use the short way:
I teach the short way in this video:

The trick is to recognize which polyatomic ions DO NOT CHANGE from reactant to product (examples in linked video)
If it doesn't change, keep the entire ion on your checklist as opposed to breaking it up into atoms
Then follow the rules taught in the first video

Hopefully this method helps you save time and minimize confusion