What is the balanced chemical equation for the reaction between carbon monoxide, #CO#, and hydrogen gas, #H_2#, to make #CH_2OH#?

1 Answer
May 21, 2017

Answer:

The balanced equation is:

#CO + 3/2H_2 -> CH_2OH#

Explanation:

The unbalanced equation is:

#CO + H_2 -> CH_2OH#

Since there is already one mole of carbon #(C)# and one mole of oxygen #(O)# on each side of the equation, we only need to balance hydrogen #(H)#. There are 2 moles on the left and 3 on the right. We can multiply the number of moles of #H_2# by #3/2#:

#CO + 3/2H_2 -> CH_2OH#

This is a correct, balanced chemical equation.

If fractional coefficients make you uncomfortable, though, it would be possible to multiply all coefficients by 2:

#2CO + 3H_2 -> 2CH_2OH#