Skip Navigation

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

  • 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.