# Can we use fractional coefficients in stoichiometric equations?

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Is #H_2(g) + 1/2O_2(g) rarr H_2O(l)# correct?

Is

##### 1 Answer

So you ask about half-integral coefficients.....? Can you use them? I dunno, ask your chemistry professor. If he/she uses them on the whiteboard I would say yes....

#### Explanation:

So is

Now I cannot have HALF a dioxygen molecule, but I certainly can have half a mole, i.e. a

The stoichiometric coefficients used in the given equation are thus no more than tools. They may be appropriate or inappropriate given a specific scenario. When we assess stoichiometric equivalence, I maintain that a half-integral coefficient can certainly be useful, and correct, and therefore right. And, for me at least, when we write out the alternative.....

....when we calculate equivalent masses, there is the possibility of ballsing something up. Do I divide by two, or do I multiply by two...to find mass equivalence? And still, after many years, it is NOT immediately obvious to me.....on the other hand...for...

..the mass equivalence is directly obvious to me.

We know that all chemical equations observe stoichiometry.

And the answer to your question is that by the criteria I have advanced.....

Likewise.....