What is the chemical equation

Equation for aluminum oxide

Write the equation for the reaction of oxygen and aluminum. The reactants are Al and O2 and the product is Al2O3. The aluminum goes from Al(0) to Al(III) oxidation state. The oxygen goes from neutral to O(-2) oxidation state.

Balance the aluminum first. Two aluminum atoms are on the product side of the equation. Place a two as the coefficient in front of the aluminum on the reactant side of the equation.

Examine the number of oxygen atoms on each side of the equation. Balance the oxygen atoms from the product side to the reactant side. You must have three oxygen atoms on the product side, but they come in packages of two from the reactant side. Therefore, O2 on the reactant side must have a coefficient of 3/2 to provide the correct number.

Multiply the equation by a factor to yield whole numbers as coefficients in front of each product and reactant. You start with the equation 2 Al + 3/2 O2 -> Al2O3. Multiplication by two will remove the fraction in the reactant side and result in whole numbers on both sides of the equation. The resulting equation is 4 Al + 3 O2 -> 2 Al2O3.

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