What is the combustion equation for oxalic acid (H2C2O4)?
I think that the products it creates are CO2 + H2O but I just can't seem to balance it. Please correct me if I'm wrong. The answer is killing me!
- CianLv 51 decade agoBest Answer
C2H2O4 + O2 ------> CO2 + H2O
Thats the basic reaction scheme, unbalanced.
Start by balancing the carbons on both sides
C2H2O4 + O2 ------> 2 CO2 + H2O
Now balance the H's. 2 on the left, balance 2 on the right. No changes needed to the H's.
Now balance the O's.
You've got 4 +2 on the left. On the right you have 4 + 1.
An easy way to solve this problem is to put a 1/2 in front of the O2. Thats like saying 1/2 of an O2 molecule is just ONE Oxygen atom.
Now both sides match (4 +1 on left, 2 x 2 = 4 + 1 on the right).
But we can't leave it like that. You can't really have 1/2 of an O2.
So multiply the whole reaction through by 2 to get rid of the 1/2.
2 C2H2O4 + O2 ----> 4 CO2 + 2 H2O
Does everything balance on each side.
Left side: 4 C, 4H, 2 x4 = 8 +2 = 10 O
Right side: 4 C, 4 H, 4 x 2= 8 + 2 = 10 O.
balanced!Source(s): my Ph.D. in Chemistry