# What stoichiometric coefficients are used in combustion reactions? How do represent the comproportionation of ammonium nitrate to nitrous oxide?

Mar 4, 2017

Usually, the desirable option is the simplest WHOLE number ratio.....

#### Explanation:

As for myself, often I reject this rule in favour of half-integral coefficients. For example,............the combustion of ethane,

${H}_{3} C - C {H}_{3} \left(g\right) + \frac{7}{2} {O}_{2} \left(g\right) \rightarrow 2 C {O}_{2} \left(g\right) + 3 {H}_{2} O \left(l\right)$,

versus,

$2 {H}_{3} C - C {H}_{3} \left(g\right) + 7 {O}_{2} \left(g\right) \rightarrow 4 C {O}_{2} \left(g\right) + 6 {H}_{2} O \left(l\right)$,

both are balanced; I would prefer the former because it is easier to address the stoichiometry, even tho I know that you cannot have a half an oxygen molecule. You can have, however, $\text{half a mole}$ of dioxygen molecules.

$N {H}_{4} N {O}_{3} \rightarrow {N}_{2} O + 2 {H}_{2} O$
which is in fact a $\text{comproportionation reaction}$, would be the preferred option.
$3 N {H}_{4} N {O}_{3} \rightarrow 3 {N}_{2} O + 6 {H}_{2} O$ is not the simplest whole number ratio. If I have missed your point I apologize............