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

Dec 4, 2015

${\text{CH"_4" + 2O}}_{2}$$\rightarrow$$\text{CO"_2" + 2H"_2"O}$

#### Explanation:

${\text{CH"_4" + O}}_{2}$$\rightarrow$$\text{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 $\text{H"_2"O}$. We now have 4 H atoms on both sides.

${\text{CH"_4" + O}}_{2}$$\rightarrow$$\text{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 $\text{O"_2}$. We now have 4 O atoms on both sides.

${\text{CH"_4" + 2O}}_{2}$$\rightarrow$$\text{CO"_2" + 2H"_2"O}$

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