# Help on balancing an equation? (Please see details)

Asked by NostalgicChills (2787) March 28th, 2012

I have tried looking this up, and I just can’t figure out how to balance equations. Can someone please explain this to me?
This is the information I’m given:
Ammonium Carbonate: (NH4)2CO3
Carbon Dioxide: CO2
Water vapor: H2O

Then, I have the following:

______( ) □ ______( ) + ______( ) + _______( )

What goes where? And how do I know?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

Looks like a carbonate decomposition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_bicarbonate#Thermal_decomposition

That’s all of the information? You don’t even know if there is heat?

phaedryx (6129)

Hmm, I’d guess it’s something like this:

(NH₄)₂CO₃ → 2NH₃ + CO₂ + H₂O

So, I’m assuming its a decomposition. Ammonium becoming ammonia and carbonate becoming carbon dioxide. The question says water vapor so I’m assuming that there is enough heat to drive the reaction completely to the right?

Anyway, matter can’t be created or destroyed. So look at the atoms on the reactant side:

N : 2
H : 8
C : 1
O : 3

So you need the same number on the other side. In order to have 2 nitrogens on the products side you need 2 ammonia (NH₃) molecules. That takes care of the nitrogen and 6 of the hydrogen atoms.

N : 2
H : 8 2
C: 1
O : 3
You have 1 carbon on the left so you need 1 carbon dioxide on the right. That also takes care of 2 of the oxygen atoms.

N : 2
H : 8 2
C : 1
O : 3 1

That leaves 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atom to account for: exactly enough for 1 water molecule.

N : 2
H : 8
C : 1
O : 3

phaedryx (6129)

@phaedryx
WOW that’s a lot, thank you!

There is heat, sorry I forgot to mention that

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