Rust forms when iron metal (Fe) reacts with oxygen (O2) to produce iron oxide (Fe2O3) how do I write a balanced equation ?

1 Answer
Write your answer here...
Start with a one sentence answer
Then teach the underlying concepts
Don't copy without citing sources
preview
?

Answer

Write a one sentence answer...

Answer:

Explanation

Explain in detail...

Explanation:

I want someone to double check my answer

Describe your changes (optional) 200

129
Nov 23, 2015

Start with the unbalanced chemical equation

#Fe_((s)) + O_(2(g)) -> Fe_2O_(3(s))#

The idea behind balancing chemical equations is that the number of atoms an element has on the reactants' side must be equal to the number of atoms it has on the products' side.

These atoms will become a part of different compounds once the reaction is completed, but they must always be in equal numbers on both sides.

So, look at iron first. One atom reacts, but two are produced - notice the 2 subscript iron has in #Fe_2O_3#. This means you must double the number of atoms on the reactants' side to reach an equality.

#2Fe_((s)) + O_(2(g)) -> Fe_2O_(3(s))#

Now look at oxygen. Two atoms react, but three are produced. The trick here is to find a common multiple that will make the number of atoms equal on both sides.

The easiest way to do this is to multiply the atoms that react by 3, which will give you 6 oxygen atoms that react, and the atoms that are produced by 2 - this will get you 6 oxygen atoms produced.

#2Fe_((s)) + 3O_(2(g)) -> 2Fe_2O_(3(s))#

However, notice that the iron atoms are unbalanced again. You have 2 that react, but 4 that are produced #-># multiply the atoms that react by 2 again, which will give you

#4Fe_((s)) + 3O_(2(g)) -> 2Fe_2O_(3(s))#

Now the chemical equation is balanced. See more on how to balance chemical equations here:

http://socratic.org/questions/how-do-you-balance-chemical-equations-step-by-step

Was this helpful? Let the contributor know!
1500
Trending questions
Impact of this question
66686 views around the world
You can reuse this answer
Creative Commons License