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

May 21, 2017

The balanced equation is:

$C O + \frac{3}{2} {H}_{2} \to C {H}_{2} O H$

#### Explanation:

The unbalanced equation is:

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

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

$C O + \frac{3}{2} {H}_{2} \to C {H}_{2} O H$

This is a correct, balanced chemical equation.

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

$2 C O + 3 {H}_{2} \to 2 C {H}_{2} O H$