In chemical equations, what numbers often appear in front of a chemical formula?

1 Answer
Apr 7, 2017

Answer:

#"The so-called stoichiometric coefficients............"#

Explanation:

Let's examine a combustion reaction (I choose an odd-numbered alkane so that I don't have to use half-integral coefficients):

#C_5H_12 + 8O_2 rarr 5CO_2 + 6H_2O#

Is this balanced? Don't trust my 'rithmetic!

The #1# understood to be in front of the pentane, the #8# in front of the dioxygen, the #5# in front of the carbon dioxide, and the #6# in front of the water, #"ARE THE STOICHIOMETRIC COEFFICIENTS"# #"OF THE REACTANTS AND THE PRODUCTS."#