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Chapter 6, Lesson 1 Multimedia

Methane and Oxygen React

The chemical equation for the combustion of methane.  The equation is expressed both with chemical formulas and with space-filling models of each molecule involved.  In this case, methane + oxygen yields carbon dioxide and water.
  • In the reaction, the the bonds in the methane and oxygen come apart, the atoms rearrange and then re-bond to form water and carbon dioxide.
  • The little number written at the lower right after an atom (subscript) tells how many of that atom are in the molecule.
  • The big number written in front of a molecule (coefficient) shows how many of that molecule there are.
  • All the atoms in the products come from the atoms in the reactants.

Combustion of Methane

This video shows the chemical equation for the combustion of methane and stresses that the same number and kinds of atoms are found on each side of the reaction arrow. The reactants are simply rearranged to form the products.

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  • The reactants are on the left side of the equation and the products are on the right.
  • In the reaction, the bonds in the methane and oxygen come apart, the atoms rearrange and then re-bond to form water and carbon dioxide.

Balanced Equation

Space filling models of the molecules that are involved in the combustion of methane are depicted on a scale, showing that the equation is “balanced”.  The same kinds of molecules are found on both sides of the chemical equation, and in the same amounts.
  • All the atoms in the reactants form the products so the mass of the reactants and the products is the same.
  • No new atoms are created and no atoms are destroyed.