# When balancing a redox reaction, what are you balancing?

Jul 8, 2016

You are balancing both MASS and CHARGE.

#### Explanation:

Mass and charge are fundamental properties that are stoichiometrically balanced in every chemical reaction. Garbage out must equal garbage in.

We could take a simple example: $C {r}^{3 +}$ is oxidized to $C r {O}_{4}^{2 -}$

$C {r}^{3 +} + 4 {H}_{2} O \left(l\right) \rightarrow C r {O}_{4}^{2 -} + 8 {H}^{+} + 3 {e}^{-}$

Is this balanced with respect to mass and charge? To where do the electrons go? What sort of redox reaction is this?