What Are Chemical Equations Balanced to Satisfy?


Quick Answer

Chemical equations are balanced to satisfy the law of the conservation of mass. Since the law states that matter cannot be created or destroyed, a balanced equation is necessary to ensure the same amount of matter in both the reactants and the products of a chemical equation.

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Full Answer

Chemical equations are balanced using a technique known as stoichiometry. This technique uses a stoichiometric coefficient in front of each component in the equation to indicate the presence of multiple molecules or compounds. For example, SnO2 + H2 ? Sn + H2O is balanced as SnO2 + H2 ? Sn + 2H2O. Counting up the number of atoms on each side of the equation gives an equal value of one tin atom, two oxygen atoms and two hydrogen atoms, obeying the conservation of mass law.

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