Reasons for Balancing Chemical Equations

Chemical equations represent the chemical reaction taking place. It is an arrangement of reactants and products. The process of making the products and the reactants coefficient on either side of the arrow mark equal is called balancing of the chemical equations. In this post you must understand the primary reason behind balancing a chemical equation.

Top 4 reasons for balancing chemical equations

1. Qualitative vs Quantitative analysis

When two things are mixed, then we get a new thing. This is what is represented in a chemical reaction with the help of a chemical equation. Then why worry about balancing them. Yes, it is correct when thought qualitatively. But, when it comes to quantitative analysis, then balancing the chemical equation is a must. In order to track the product and reactant quantities, equations should be balanced.

2. Obey the law of conservation of mass

The law states that mass cannot be created and destroyed as well. Which means mass does not get lost or gained in the chemical reaction. So the reactant’s total mass and the product’s total mass are equal to each other. Therefore balancing will help us know the quantity of the reactants required instead of just knowing the kind of products obtained. The weight of the product and reactant is calculated with the help of a balanced equation.

For instance – take a biscuit making process as an example. According to law of conservation of mass, the mass of the reactant is equal to the sum of the mass of the products. Coming back to biscuit making process, the mass of batter is 250 gm and once it is baked if forms biscuits whose mass is equal to the sum of the mass of the biscuits and the water evaporated. This will together be 250 gms.

3. Mole relationship can be established for carrying out stoichiometric calculations

The measure of elements is called stoichiometry. To carry out these calculations there needs to be balanced equation. With reactants on left side and products on the right side of the arrow a chemical equation is represented. For carrying our efficient calculations the atoms on both sides must be equal. The stoichiometric coefficient is the number presented before atoms, molecules, and ions in an equation. This will help to create a mole ratio between the products and the reactants.

The balanced equation allows easy comparison of various elements in stoichiometry.

4. The basic idea is obtained

At a smaller level, balancing might not be considered important. But, when things go at a large level like in factories, then balancing is a must. It will ensure the number of reactants required to produce a required amount of the product. This will give a practical idea about making things in a correct mixing proportion.

Thus, to represent accurately the happening in a chemical reaction, it is important to balance the equation. It is not rocket science though. One can easily learn to balance equation and master the concept. Only some practice is required and currently balancing equation is part of the 6th-grade curriculum and kids understand the basics at this tender age and get a firm grip in chemistry subject.

References:
https://www.khanacademy.org/science/chemistry/chemical-reactions-stoichiome/balancing-chemical-equations/v/balancing-chemical-equations-introduction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_equation

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed074p1359

https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_introductory-chemistry/s08-chemical-reactions-and-equatio.html