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A reaction that “split[s] water and CO2 into syngas” would presumably be: H2O(g) + CO2(g) H2(g) + CO(g) but this chemical equation cannot be balanced! There are several ways to explain why it cannot be balanced, but we just covered oxidation numbers, so let’s put them to use. Assign the oxidation numbers for each atom in the reactants and products. In terms of oxidation numbers, why is this reaction impossible as written.