Redox equations are often so complex that many Chemistry students have a hard time balancing them with stoichiometry coefficients. I observed that many of my students who recently join us in the JC1 Higher 2 (H2) Chemistry Tuition Classes are pretty weak (some don’t even know how to start the question) when it comes to balancing redox equations. Several mentioned that they don’t understand what their H2 Chemistry lecturers / recommended H2 Chemistry Tutors are teaching them in the lectures and tutorials. So today, we will be looking at the 10 Steps Strategy to Balance Redox Equations in Acidic Medium.
Note that it is actually not that difficult to balance the equations. You just need some strategies/procedures and some practice will make it perfect.
Also, do note that it is very important for students to be able to balance redox equations, because we need it in order to solve redox titrations type of questions which is very common in Advanced Chemistry syllabus (i.e. GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry).
Chemists have developed the Ion-Electron (Half-Reaction) method which we will be discussing today. Do note that there’s an alternative method called the Oxidation Number method which we will discuss another time.
In the Half-Reaction method, the unbalanced redox equation is converted into the ionic equation and then broken down into two half-reactions: Oxidation and Reduction. Each of these half-reactions is balanced separately and then combined to give the overall balanced redox equation.
It’s important to follow the steps precisely and in the order listed. Otherwise, you may not be successful in balancing redox equations.
Lets get started ……..
10 Steps Strategy to Balance Redox Equations in Acidic Medium:
Following are the strategy when you need to balance redox equations in the acidic medium:
1: Using the O.S., identify the oxidised and reduced species
2: Construct a half-rxn for the oxidation step & balance the no. of atoms oxidised
3: Balance O by adding H2O
4: Balance H by adding H+ (acidic medium)
5: Balance charges by adding electrons
6: Oxidation half-reaction equation is now balanced
7: Repeat step 2 to step 5
8: Reduction half-reaction equation is now balanced
9: Combine the two half-reaction equations to eliminate electrons
10: Overall Redox Equation is now balanced
Still unsure about how the strategies are being used?
The following video will show you an example of how i have done so. Enjoy!
Length of video: 12.26 minutes
Direct video link: https://youtu.be/aYzjBjFKFjI
I hope you find the content on 10 Steps Strategy to Balance Redox Equations in Acidic Medium easy for your understanding. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below. Feel free to share this blog post with your friends.
Stay tuned to my next video blog post. I will be sharing with you how we can use the Half-Reaction Method to Balance Redox Equations in Alkaline / Basic Medium.
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