The Chemical EducatorISSN: 14304171 (electronic version) Abstract Volume 23
(2018) pp 237241 A Uniform Algebraic Approach for Balancing and Checking the Inexactness of Chemical Equations
Bashir Ahmad Bhat^{†} and Waseem A. Wani*^{,‡} ^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{}^{†}Department of Mathematics, Govt. Degree College Tral, Kashmir, J&K  192123, INDIA, ^{‡}Department of Chemistry, Govt. Degree College Tral, Kashmir, J&K  192123, INDIA, waseemorg@gmail.com Published: 6 November 2018 Abstract. Chemistry
learners are often troubled with topics related to reaction stoichiometry. The
inspection method for balancing chemical equations is a trialanderror
process, which can be used only for simple chemical equations. Therefore, we
discuss a uniform algebraic approach for balancing chemical equations and
checking their inexactness, if any. In this method, arbitrary coefficients (say a, b, c, d …) are assigned to the individual reactant and product molecules.
Different linear equations involving the coefficients are derived by using the
law of conservation of mass. The derived equations are solved in terms of the
assumed common coefficient (say a), which yields the values of the other
assigned stoichiometric coefficients. Finally, the chemical equation is
balanced by substitution of these values. It is interesting to note that there
are no unique solutions of the coefficients for chemical equations wherein the
number of assigned coefficients is more than the number of derived equations by
two or more. For ionic redox reactions, the charges of the ionic species
involved are also considered for expressing some of the coefficients in terms
of the assumed coefficient. The inexactness of a chemical equation is
ascertained when at least one of the coefficients is negative or zero.
Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry; chemical reactions; chemical equations; algebraic method; stoichiometric coefficients; ionic redox reactions; inexactness of a chemical reaction (*) Corresponding author. (Email: waseemorg@gmail.com) Article in PDF format (139 KB) HTML format
