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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.
Balance the equation
Ba(OH)₂·8H₂O + HNO₃ → Ba(NO₃)₂ + H₂O
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