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QUESTION

# How do you balance equations with hydrates?

You use the same procedure as for any other equation.

The usual method is to balance all atoms other than O and H, then balance O, then balance H.

EXAMPLE:

Balance the equation

Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + HNO₃ → Ba(NO₃)₂ + H₂O

Solution:

1. Start with the most complicated formula.

Put a 1 in front of the most complicated formula, Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O.

1 Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + HNO₃ → Ba(NO₃)₂ + H₂O

2. Balance Ba.

1 Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + HNO₃ → 1 Ba(NO₃)₂ + H₂O

3. Balance N.

1 Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + 2 HNO₃ → 1 Ba(NO₃)₂ + H₂O

4. Balance O.

1 Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + 2 HNO₃ → 1 Ba(NO₃)₂ + 10 H₂O

Every formula has a coefficient, so the equation should now be balanced.

5. Check that all atoms are balanced.

On the left: 1 Ba; 16 O; 20 H; 2 N On the right: 1 Ba; 2 N; 16 O; 20 H

The balanced equation is

Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + 2HNO₃ → Ba(NO₃)₂ + 10H₂O

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