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# What is the stoichiometric coefficient for oxygen when the following equation is balanced using the lowest, whole-number coefficients?

(The equation is listed in the picture below)

### 3 Answers

- stanschimLv 71 month ago
Let a, b, c and d be the coefficients for each of the reactants and products, listed in order.

Balancing each element gives:

Carbon: 2a = 1c

Hydrogen: 6a = 2d

Oxygen: 1a + 2b = 2c + 1d

Let's set a = 2 and see what happens.

Then c = 4, d = 6 and b = 6.

That leaves the equation as: 2C2H5OH + 6O2 => 4CO2 + 6H2O

Dividing through by 2 gives the balanced equation as

C2H5OH + 3O2 => 2CO2 + 3H2O

This balances on all elements.

The coefficient of the O2 term is 3.

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- pisgahchemistLv 71 month ago
Combustion reaction ....

"The complete combustion of a hydrocarbon produces carbon dioxide gas and water vapor."

C2H5OH(g) + 3O2(g) --> 2CO2(g) + 3H2O(g)

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- Dr WLv 71 month ago
start with

.. __ C2H3OH + __ O2 ----> __ CO2 + __ H2O

choose a starting element and an integer to start with.

I choose "C" and the number "2"

.. 2 C2H3OH + __ O2 ----> __ CO2 + __ H2O

balance C's

.. 2 C2H3OH + __ O2 ----> 4 CO2 + __ H2O

balance H's

.. 2 C2H3OH + __ O2 ----> 4 CO2 + 4 H2O

balance O's

.. 2 C2H3OH + __ O2 ----> 4 CO2 +4 H2O

you have 4*2 + 4*1 = 12 O's on the right

you already have 2*1 = 2 O's on the left

so you need 12 - 2 = __ O's more on the left

so how many O2's is that?

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