# Question #d8b50

Jan 11, 2015

No, the equation is not balanced, because you do not have the same number of atoms for each element on both the reactants', and the products' side.

$C O \to C + {O}_{2}$

You have 1 $\text{C}$ atom on the reactants' side, and 1 on the products' side, so $\text{C}$ is balanced. However, you only have 1 ${\text{O}}_{2}$ atom on the reactants' side, and 2 on the products' side, so you need to double the number of ${\text{O}}_{2}$ atoms on the left side.

$2 C O \to C + {O}_{2}$

Oxygen is now balanced, but you have disrupted the carbon balance. Since 2 $\text{C}$ atoms are now on the left side, you need to double the number of $\text{C}$ atoms on the right side.

$2 C O \to 2 C + {O}_{2}$

As a side note, I believe the more suited equation for this reaction is

${C}_{\left(s\right)} + {O}_{2 \left(g\right)} \to C {O}_{2 \left(g\right)}$

You could practice your chemical equations balancing skills on the first one as well.

Here is an example of an equation which is balanced, plus a discussion of why equations must be balanced and strategies you can use to balance an equation.

video from: Noel Pauller