How to Write a Chemical Equation

By Chris Sherwood

One of the most fundamental concepts that you need to learn in chemistry is how to write a chemical equation. Chemical equations are used whenever a compound is formed or decomposed. This is why learning how to write them is so crucial since most of chemistry is based around the formation and decomposition of matter.

Write a sentence clarifying the reaction. Sometimes seeing the reaction on paper helps you to be able to tear apart and analyze the equation. Make sure to include all the names and states of your products and reactants. Once you have these written out, you can start writing out your equation. For an example, if you were to write the reaction that produces water in a sentence, you would say: Hydrogen added to oxygen yields water.

Write down your product and reactants. Make sure that your reactants are on the left side of your equation and your products are on the right. The water example would look like this. Hydrogen + Oxygen -------> Water

Insert the correct symbols to replace the words for your product and reactants. The example would look like this: H2 + O2 = H20.

Balance your equations. With the water example, the equation is unbalanced. You must make sure that each side of the equation has equal amounts of atoms as well as the same total charge. To balance the equation you would need to place the correct coefficients in front of the symbols. The example would look like this: 2 H2 + O2 = 2 H2O. Now both sides of the equations are balanced.

About the Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.