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Using the Algebraic Method to Balance

For difficult equations the algebraic method of balancing equations can be useful. It takes some effort to master but allows you to balance any chemical equation. The video was created by LJA Chemistry.

Strategies for Success:

  • It is possible to use algebra to balance chemical equations.

  • This method eliminates the "trial and error" aspect of balancing.

  • In general it is quicker to use trail and error for simple equations.

More Help and Practice:

Key Information

When balancing chemical equations our goal is to have the same number of each type of atom on both sides of the equation.

You can only change the coefficients when balancing!

Coefficients are the numbers in front of the molecule.

Balanced equations provide ratios between substances. The coefficients can be thought of as mole ratios.