Balancing Redox Equations


FOOLPROOF Method  Example  
1.
Assign oxidation numbers (o.n.) to atoms and write a net ionic equation for each half
reaction. Work on each half
reaction separately.
2. Balance atoms being oxidized or reduced. 3. From the change in oxidation numbers, determine the number of electrons involved and add them to the high oxidation number side of the equation. 4. Balance the charge, using either H^{+} (if in ACID solution) or OH^{} (if in BASE solution). 5. Now balance the OXYGEN by adding H_{2}O to the appropriate side of the equation. Check that everything balances  it will! 6. Equalize the number of electrons in each half reaction by multiplying by the appropriate factor and then add. 
In acid solution, potassium
permanganate can oxidize chloride ions to chlorine gas. The
manganesecontaining product in this reaction is Mn^{2+}(aq). Balance the equation for this reaction. 1.
2, 3. 2Cl^{}(aq) > Cl_{2}(aq) 4. 6.
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