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Question
Chemistry
Posted 3 months ago
Exercise 14
At 1000C1000^{\circ} \mathrm{C}, ammonia gas, NH3( g)\mathrm{NH}_{3}(\mathrm{~g}), reacts with oxygen gas to form gaseous nitric oxide, NO(g)\mathrm{NO}(\mathrm{g}), and water vapor. This reaction is the first step in the commercial production of nitric acid by the Ostwald process. Balance the equation for this reaction.
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Answer from Sia
Posted 3 months ago
Solution
1
Write the unbalanced chemical equation: The reaction between ammonia (NH3\mathrm{NH}_{3}) and oxygen (O2\mathrm{O}_{2}) to produce nitric oxide (NO\mathrm{NO}) and water (H2O\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}) is represented by the unbalanced equation: NH3(g)+O2(g)NO(g)+H2O(g)\mathrm{NH}_{3}(g) + \mathrm{O}_{2}(g) \rightarrow \mathrm{NO}(g) + \mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}(g)
2
Balance the nitrogen atoms: There is one nitrogen atom on both sides of the equation, so nitrogen is already balanced
3
Balance the hydrogen atoms: There are three hydrogen atoms in NH3\mathrm{NH}_{3} and two in H2O\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}. To balance the hydrogen atoms, we need to have an even number of hydrogen atoms in the water molecules. Therefore, we put a coefficient of 2 in front of H2O\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}: NH3(g)+O2(g)NO(g)+2H2O(g)\mathrm{NH}_{3}(g) + \mathrm{O}_{2}(g) \rightarrow \mathrm{NO}(g) + 2\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}(g)
4
Balance the oxygen atoms: Now, there are four oxygen atoms on the right side (2 from NO\mathrm{NO} and 2 from 2H2O2\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}) and two on the left side from O2\mathrm{O}_{2}. To balance the oxygen atoms, we need to put a coefficient of 5/2 in front of O2\mathrm{O}_{2}: NH3(g)+52O2(g)NO(g)+2H2O(g)\mathrm{NH}_{3}(g) + \frac{5}{2}\mathrm{O}_{2}(g) \rightarrow \mathrm{NO}(g) + 2\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}(g)
5
Make all coefficients whole numbers: To avoid having a fraction as a coefficient, we multiply all coefficients by 2: 2NH3(g)+5O2(g)2NO(g)+4H2O(g)2\mathrm{NH}_{3}(g) + 5\mathrm{O}_{2}(g) \rightarrow 2\mathrm{NO}(g) + 4\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}(g)
Answer
2NH3(g)+5O2(g)2NO(g)+4H2O(g)2\mathrm{NH}_{3}(g) + 5\mathrm{O}_{2}(g) \rightarrow 2\mathrm{NO}(g) + 4\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{O}(g)
Key Concept
Balancing chemical equations
Explanation
The coefficients in a balanced chemical equation must be the smallest set of whole numbers that balance all the atoms on both sides of the equation.

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