How would you balance the following equation: CH4 + O2 --> CO2 + H2O?

1 Answer
Dec 4, 2015

Answer:

#"CH"_4" + 2O"_2##rarr##"CO"_2" + 2H"_2"O"#

Explanation:

#"CH"_4" + O"_2##rarr##"CO"_2" + H"_2"O"#

First look at the C atoms. At first glance they are balanced with 1 C on each side.

Now look at the H atoms. They are not balanced. There are 4 H atoms on the left side and 2 H atoms on the right. Place a coefficient of 2 in front of the #"H"_2"O""#. We now have 4 H atoms on both sides.

#"CH"_4" + O"_2##rarr##"CO"_2" + 2H"_2"O"#

Now look at the O atoms. They are not balanced. There are 2 O atoms on the left side and 4 on the right. Place a coefficient of 2 in front of the #"O"_2"#. We now have 4 O atoms on both sides.

#"CH"_4" + 2O"_2##rarr##"CO"_2" + 2H"_2"O"#

The equation is now balanced. Each side has 1 C atom, 4 H atoms, and 4 O atoms.