Balancing Chemical Equations Video Lessons

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Concept: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Problem: Natural gas is very abundant in many Middle Eastern oil fields. However, the costs of shipping the gas to markets in other parts of the world are high because it is necessary to liquefy the gas, which is mainly methane and thus has a boiling point at atmospheric pressure of -164 oC. One possible strategy is to oxidize the methane to methanol, CH3OH, which has a boiling point of 65 oC and can therefore be shipped more readily. Suppose that 1.07×1010 ft3 of methane at atmospheric pressure and 25 oC are oxidized to methanol.Write balanced chemical equation for the oxidation of methanol to CO2(g) and H2O(l).

FREE Expert Solution

We’re asked to write a balanced chemical equation for the oxidation of methanol, CH3OH (g) to CO2(g) and H2O(l).


Recall that CO2(g) and H2O(l) are the products of a combustion reaction.  


This means that, when methanol is oxidized, it reacts with Oxygen gas, O2 to undergo a combustion reaction.


Recall that when balancing chemical equations, we have to make sure that the number of elements on both sides is equal with the lowest whole number coefficients.


Let's first determine the reactants and products:


Reactants:

  • Methanol = CH3OH (l) (liquid)
  • Oxygen gas = O2 (g)
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Problem Details

Natural gas is very abundant in many Middle Eastern oil fields. However, the costs of shipping the gas to markets in other parts of the world are high because it is necessary to liquefy the gas, which is mainly methane and thus has a boiling point at atmospheric pressure of -164 oC. One possible strategy is to oxidize the methane to methanol, CH3OH, which has a boiling point of 65 oC and can therefore be shipped more readily. Suppose that 1.07×1010 ft3 of methane at atmospheric pressure and 25 oC are oxidized to methanol.

Write balanced chemical equation for the oxidation of methanol to CO2(g) and H2O(l).

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