How many oxygen atoms are in the products of the following reaction? C_6H_12O_6 + 6H_2O + 6O_2 -> 6CO_2 + 12 H_2O

Jul 9, 2016

Your equation is suspect. It is supposed to represent the combustion of sugar.

Explanation:

${C}_{6} {H}_{12} {O}_{6} + 6 {O}_{2} \rightarrow 6 C {O}_{2} + 6 {H}_{2} O$

Carbon and oxygen atoms have precise masses and charges. Since mass and charge are conserved in a chemical reaction, it follows that the reactants and the products have equal masses and charge.

In the equation you gave, I could subtract $6 {H}_{2} O$ from both sides of the equation, and still my equation was balanced, i.e. stoichiometric.

In the equation given here, there are 18 oxygen atoms in the products. Necessarily there were 18 oxygen atoms as reactants. Is this correct?