Balancing chemical equations?

  1. Hi! I'm have trouble understanding how balance a chemical equation and would like to know if anyone has a way to facilitate understanding of balancing a chemical equations?

    I handed in a lab report last week and one of the questions was - complete and balancing the chemical equation 'NaHCO3 + HCl [font=Wingdings] NaCl + _____ + ______ : I came up with H20 + CO2 (in Anatomy & Physiology by Saladin) . Which is balanced but I still can't 'see' it.

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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   mshultz
    blue eyes:

    The numbers of each element on the left must equal the numbers of each element on the right. You have:
    1 Na
    1 Cl
    3 O
    2 H

    Since you have NaCl on the right, this leaves 1 C, 3 O and 2 H. Since the positive and negative charges of each molecule must balance, the only possible answer is H2O + CO2.
  4. by   mariessas_mom
    When I took chemistry. I took a handful of equations and kept practicing on them and amazangly it started to make sense and then seemed easy. It is just one of those things that tske practice, practice, practice! But definately my least favorite of any class I have ever taken, aghhhh!
  5. by   manna
    I despised my chemistry course. May have been because I took it online and didn't get much feedback as to what I was doing right/wrong.

    I agree with the previous poster - the best way to understand chem is to work lots of problems. Sort of like a math class. I'm sure there are lots of great websites for helping learn chem as well, but I don't happen to know any right off hand...
  6. by   blue eyes
    Thank you. It makes more sense now (balancing) - I spoke to a few people who have suggested making notes/diagrams on palm cards or A3 paper & stick your notes to the wall. At times I find lecture notes which make more sense than the text.
  7. by   Deb123j
    I am currently taking chemistry and have problems like this one. Once I get into nursing school, do I really need to know all this stuff???
  8. by   darby1
    Quote from Deb123j
    I am currently taking chemistry and have problems like this one. Once I get into nursing school, do I really need to know all this stuff???
    I haven't used the first Chemistry equation in nursing school, and I just graduated. In fact, I haven't used that stupid azz "mole crap" since I left that stupid course . The most valuable stuff you should gather will be basic symbols for the most common electrolytes such as Calcium (Ca), Sodium (Na), Potassium(K), etc. This will help you to recognize what your text book is talking about, and will serve you well throughout school. I still have a "periodic chart of the elements" posted on my wall beside my desk for reference. Chemistry was a aggravating class, in my opinion, but I aced it just like my other science courses. I just could not see "my harvest" for all my hard work. Chemistry sux...IMHO...LOL.
  9. by   txspadequeenRN
    Im taking chem starting in July and yall are scarring the H.E.L.L out of me:uhoh21:




    Quote from blue eyes
    Hi! I'm have trouble understanding how balance a chemical equation and would like to know if anyone has a way to facilitate understanding of balancing a chemical equations?

    I handed in a lab report last week and one of the questions was - complete and balancing the chemical equation 'NaHCO3 + HCl [font=Wingdings] NaCl + _____ + ______ : I came up with H20 + CO2 (in Anatomy & Physiology by Saladin) . Which is balanced but I still can't 'see' it.

  10. by   Deb123j
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    Im taking chem starting in July and yall are scarring the H.E.L.L out of me:uhoh21:
    I'm not going to lie, if you're not good in science it's a pain!!! HOWEVER - if you study, study, study, you should do ok. I study a little bit every night and I do the problems at the end of the chapter (review problems) several times and I'm not doing too bad. I have a B average so far.

    :angryfire I HATE the freakin MOLE also!!!!!:angryfire
  11. by   studentnurse74
    Quote from darby1
    I haven't used the first Chemistry equation in nursing school, and I just graduated. In fact, I haven't used that stupid azz "mole crap" since I left that stupid course . The most valuable stuff you should gather will be basic symbols for the most common electrolytes such as Calcium (Ca), Sodium (Na), Potassium(K), etc. This will help you to recognize what your text book is talking about, and will serve you well throughout school. I still have a "periodic chart of the elements" posted on my wall beside my desk for reference. Chemistry was a aggravating class, in my opinion, but I aced it just like my other science courses. I just could not see "my harvest" for all my hard work. Chemistry sux...IMHO...LOL.
    That was my worst subject in high school, and thank goodness my school doesn't require it! I'm glad I probably won't see anything like that in nursing!
  12. by   txspadequeenRN
    Oh Ill be ok ,chem is the one class besides algebra that I fear. It is my last science. Ill just live and breath it....



    Quote from Deb123j
    I'm not going to lie, if you're not good in science it's a pain!!! HOWEVER - if you study, study, study, you should do ok. I study a little bit every night and I do the problems at the end of the chapter (review problems) several times and I'm not doing too bad. I have a B average so far.

    :angryfire I HATE the freakin MOLE also!!!!!:angryfire
  13. by   psychomachia
    Quote from darby1
    Chemistry sux...

    but not as much as nursing "theory"....

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