Explain how the chemical equation: NaCl + BeF --> NaF + BeCl can be balanced.

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

A chemical equation is balanced when the total number of atoms of each element is the same on both the right as well as the left sides.

The chemical equation we have is: NaCl + BeF --> NaF + BeCl.

The valency of Be is 2, this makes the formula of beryllium fluoride BeF2 and the formula of beryllium chloride BeCl2

So we have NaCl + BeF2 --> NaF + BeCl2

This equation now needs to be balanced. On the left hand side there are 2 atoms of F, make the number of atoms of NaF2 on the right hand side.

Doing that makes the number of sodium atoms 2 on the right hand side. There need to be 2 NaCl atoms on the right. This also equates the number of chlorine atoms on both the sides.

The balanced chemical equation for the reaction of sodium chloride with beryllium fluoride to give sodium fluoride and beryllium chloride is:

2 NaCl + BeF2 --> 2 NaF + BeCl2

giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

First, I'll re-write the given equation that has to be balanced.

NaCl + BeF2 --> NaF + BeCl2

The first step is to create an element inventory. We'll complete this inventory with the numbers of atoms of each element, from both sides of equation.

We'll count how many atoms of Na are to the left side and how many atoms of Na are to the right side.

left: 1 atom

right 1 atom

We'll count how many atoms of Cl are to the left side and how many atoms of Na are to the right side.

left: 1 atom

right 2 atoms

We'll count how many atoms of Be are to the left side and how many atoms of Na are to the right side.

left: 1 atom

right 1 atom

We'll count how many atoms of F are to the left side and how many atoms of Na are to the right side.

left: 2 atoms

right 1 atom

Now, we'll balance the equation by multiplying NaCl by 2 and NaF by 2.

2NaCl + BeF2 --> 2NaF + BeCl2

Making the inventory we notice that the numbers of atoms of each elements from both sides, are the same.

Therefore, the balanced equation is: 2NaCl + BeF2 --> 2NaF + BeCl2.

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