Balancing Chemical Equations Video Lessons

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Concept: Balancing Chemical Reactions

Problem: Notice that "SO4" appears in two different places in this chemical equation. SO42− is a polyatomic ion called "sulfate." What number should be placed in front of CaSO4 to give the same total number of sulfate ions on each side of the equation??CaSO4 + AlCl3 → CaCl2 + Al2(SO4)3Express your answer numerically as an integer.According to the law of conservation of mass, matter cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, a chemical equation must show the same number of each kind of atom in the reactants as it does in the products. As shown in the figure, the balanced equation 3 H2 + N2 → 2 NH3 has 6 atoms of hydrogen and 2 atoms of nitrogen on each side of the arrow. One is often presented with unbalanced chemical equations for which one must supply the coefficients.The following equation is not balanced:CaSO4 + AlCl3 → CaCl2 + Al2(SO4)3

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Problem Details

Notice that "SO4" appears in two different places in this chemical equation. SO42− is a polyatomic ion called "sulfate." What number should be placed in front of CaSO4 to give the same total number of sulfate ions on each side of the equation?

?CaSO4 + AlCl3 → CaCl2 + Al2(SO4)3

Express your answer numerically as an integer.


According to the law of conservation of mass, matter cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, a chemical equation must show the same number of each kind of atom in the reactants as it does in the products. As shown in the figure, the balanced equation 3 H2 + N2 → 2 NH3 has 6 atoms of hydrogen and 2 atoms of nitrogen on each side of the arrow. One is often presented with unbalanced chemical equations for which one must supply the coefficients.


The following equation is not balanced:

CaSO4 + AlCl3 → CaCl2 + Al2(SO4)3

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Davis & Dumont's class at McMaster University.