Study Sheet

Study Sheet

Sample Study Sheet: Balancing Redox Equations Run in Acidic Conditions Using the Half-reaction Technique  

Tip-off If you are asked to balance a redox equation and told that it takes place in an acidic solution, you can use the following procedure. 

General Steps  

Step 1:   Write the skeletons of the oxidation and reduction half-reactions. (The skeleton reactions contain the formulas of the compounds oxidized and reduced, but the atoms and electrons have not yet been balanced.) See Example.

Step 2:    Balance all elements other than H and O.

Step 3:    Balance the oxygen atoms by adding H2O molecules where needed.

Step 4:    Balance the hydrogen atoms by adding H+ ions where needed.

Step 5:    Balance the charge by adding electrons, e-.

Step 6:    If the number of electrons lost in the oxidation half-reaction is not equal to the number of electrons gained in the reduction half-reaction, multiply one or both of the half- reactions by a number that will make the number of electrons gained equal to the number of electrons lost.

Step 7:    Add the 2 half-reactions as if they were mathematical equations. The electrons will always cancel. If the same formulas are found on opposite sides of the half-reactions, you can cancel them. If the same formulas are found on the same side of both half-reactions, combine them.

Step 8:    Check to make sure that the atoms and the charges balance.

Click here to see an example.

Click here to see an exercise that will allow you to try this task yourself. 

Return to the Balancing Redox Equations Page.

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