Balancing Redox Reactions Video Lessons

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Problem: Balance the following redox reaction by inserting the appropriate coefficients.HNO3 + H2S → NO +S + H2O

FREE Expert Solution

We will assume that the reaction is under acidic condition unless stated otherwise. When balancing redox reactions under acidic conditions, we will follow the following steps.


Step 1: Separate the whole reaction into two half-reactions

Step 2: Balance the non-hydrogen and non-oxygen elements first

Step 3: Balance oxygen by adding H2O to the side that needs oxygen (1 O: 1 H2O)

Step 4: Balance hydrogen by adding H+ to the side that needs hydrogen (1 H: 1 H+)

Step 5: Balance the charges: add electrons to the more positive side (or less negative side)

Step 6. Balance electrons on the two half-reactions

Step 7. Get the overall reaction by adding the two reactions


When balancing under basic conditions, additional steps are required:

Step 8. Balance the remaining H+ by adding an equal amount of OH- ions to both sides
Step 9. H+(aq) will combine with OH-(aq) to form H2O(l)­
Step 10. Cancel out common species


Balance the redox reaction under acidic conditions

HNO3 + H2S → NO + S + H2O

*Before balancing the redox reaction:

 ignore H+, OH-, and H2O in the starting reaction


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Problem Details

Balance the following redox reaction by inserting the appropriate coefficients.

HNO3 + H2S → NO +S + H2O

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