How do you balance disproportionation reactions?
You can use the oxidation number method to balance an equation for a disproportionation reaction.
In a disproportionation reaction, the same substance forms two different redox products.
For example, chlorine gas reacts with dilute sodium hydroxide to form sodium chloride, sodium chlorate, and water:
The oxidation number of
It decreases to -1 in
The steps to balance the equation are:
a. Determine the oxidation numbers of each atom on both sides of the equation.
Left hand side:
Right hand side:
b. Identify the atoms for which the oxidation number changes.
c. Adjust coefficients of
d. Balance atoms other than
g. The balanced equation is