The representation of a chemical reaction in the form of substances is known as a chemical equation. The equation in which the number of atoms of all the molecules is equal on both sides of the equation is known as a balanced chemical equation. Balancing chemical equations involves the addition of stoichiometric coefficients to the reactants and products. This is important because a chemical equation must obey the law of conservation of mass and the law of constant proportions, i.e. the same number of atoms of each element must exist on the reactant side and the product side of the equation.
- The Law of conservation of mass governs the balancing of a chemical equation.
- According to this law, mass can neither be created nor be destroyed in a chemical reaction and obeying this law total mass of the elements or molecules present on the reactant side should be equal to the total mass of elements or molecules present on the product side.
- If the chemical equation is not balanced law of conservation is not applicable.
The chemical reaction is given as
Fe + H2O → Fe3O4+ H2
The balanced chemical equation can be written as
3Fe + 4H2O → Fe3O4 + 4H2