Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), Taylor (ScienceAid Editor)
Basic Chemical Equations
Chemical equations are vital in Chemistry for us to represent what is happening in a reaction.
- 1The first, and simplest way of representing a chemical reaction is to do it in words the following shows the reaction when magnesium is burned, producing a bright blue light. Magnesium + Oxygen ==>> Magnesium OxideWords.Advertisement
- 2However, in Chemistry, chemical symbols are used to abbreviate the equation. These can be found on the [[chemistry/periodictable/thetable.html|]periodic table]. There is a small 2, after the O since there are two oxygen molecules bonded. Mg + O2 ==>> MgOChemical Symbols.
- 3The next step is to balance the equation so there are the same number of molecules on both sides. We need to double the Mg, so that one goes to each of the oxygen and that makes 2 of the product. 2Mg + O2Balance.
- 4Finally we add on state symbols to show what state each chemical is in when it is reacted. An (s) stands for solid; (l) for liquid; and (g) for gas. The fourth state symbol is (aq), this stands for aqueous and means the substance is dissolved. 2Mg(s) + O2(g) ==> 2MgO(s)State Symbols.
Using the the wealth of information that is packed into a chemical equation, you can do some calculations, or vice versa: do some calculations to get the chemical equation. I will start with the former.
Using the relative atomic masses (RAMs) and relative formula masses (RFMs) you can work out what amount of a certain substance you can get. Say you wanted to know how much hydrogen you would get when reacting 28g of lithium with water. The full balanced equation for this reaction is:
2Li(s) + 2H2O(l) ==>> 2LiOH(aq) + H2(g)
- 1Therefore each part of the equation must be doubled to get the mass in grams because 28 is double 14.Find out the RAM of 2Li, which is 14.
- 2The RAM of H2 is 2.
- 3Double this number to get 4.
- 4You will get 4 grams of hydrogen when you react 28g of lithium with as much water as is required.
Now we will look at finding out the formula of a reaction using the results from an experiment. 4.14g of lead combines with 0.64g of oxygen.
- 1The RAM of lead (Pb) is 207, and of Oxygen (O) is 16.
- 2You divide the masses by their RAMs giving 0.02 for lead and 0.04 for oxygen.
- 3Now you take the smallest number (in this case 0.02) and divide those two again.
- 4So 0.02/0.02 =1 (Pb) and 0.04/0.02 = 2 (O)
- 5Therefore the formula is PbO2
Referencing this Article
If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:
APA (American Psychological Association)
Chemical equations. (2017). In ScienceAid. Retrieved Jul 22, 2018, from https://scienceaid.net/chemistry/fundamental/chemicalequations.html
MLA (Modern Language Association) "Chemical equations." ScienceAid, scienceaid.net/chemistry/fundamental/chemicalequations.html Accessed 22 Jul 2018.
Chicago / Turabian ScienceAid.net. "Chemical equations." Accessed Jul 22, 2018. https://scienceaid.net/chemistry/fundamental/chemicalequations.html.
Categories : Fundamental
Recent edits by: Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)