Balancing Redox Reactions using the Ion-Electron Method

 

1.     Assign oxidation numbers to each element and

           determine which substances are changing their oxidation states.

 

2.     Write an unbalanced half reaction for oxidation and reduction.

 

3.     Balance each half reaction by

 

a.     Balance the main element

 

b.     Balance any O by adding H2O

 

c.     Balance any H by adding H+ ions

 

d.     Balance the charges by adding electrons, e-

 

4.     Multiply each half-reaction by an appropriate coefficient so that

the number of electrons lost = the number of electrons gained

 

5.     Add the two half reactions together.

 

6.  Eliminate anything that appears in identical form on both sides of

     the equation.

 

7.  Check that the charges balance on both sides of the equation.