Balancing More Complex Equations  
Many chemical reactions involve more than a total of three reactants and products.  Balancing these more complex equations involves the same principles as used above but in a set pattern.

Guidelines for balancing complex chemical equations:
1.   . Balance the element that has the greatest number of atoms in any reactant or product, other than oxygen or hydrogen.
 
2.    Balance any other elements, other than hydrogen or oxygen.
 
3.    Balance oxygen or hydrogen, whichever one is present in the combined state.  Leave until the last whichever one is present in the uncombined state.
 
4.    Check that the equation is balanced by counting the number of atoms of each element on each side of the equation.
 
5.    The coefficients should be in whole numbers and in their lowest terms.  It is customary to clear any fractions.
        Go to the Balancing More Complex Reactions Worksheet
        Go to the Extra Balancing Practice Questions
        Go to Translating English Into Chemistry Worksheet