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$$\ce{C_4HO + O_2 -> CO_2 + 2H_2O}$$

the book tells me that the balanced equation is:

$$\ce{2C_4HO + 13O_2 -> 8CO_2 + 10H_2O}$$

but when I try to balance it to get the answer I get something totally different. I want to know why, and also why is what Im doing wrong?

I get : $$\ce{4C_4HO + 15O_2 -> 16CO_2 + 2H_2O}$$

Both equations balance so how do you know which one is correct?

Thanks for any help

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What is $\ce{C4HO}$? Is it supposed to be methanol? $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Mar 1 '16 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Exactly! I agree that it's probably $\ce{CH3OH}$. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Mar 1 '16 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ it says its butane, C4H1O $\endgroup$ – trav95 Mar 1 '16 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ oh wait...i think this is all due to formatting error.. $\endgroup$ – trav95 Mar 1 '16 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ If you start from $\ce{C4H10}$, you'll probably agree that you need 2 oxygen atoms for every carbon and one oxygen atom for each two hydrogen atoms. Remember that oxygen comes as $\ce{O2}$. Count the oxygen atoms that you will need. If the number is odd, multiply the number of butane molecules by two. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Mar 1 '16 at 20:14
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The equation in your textbook is imbalanced. On careful inspection, one finds oxygen imbalanced.

On the reactants' side we find 28 atoms of O. On the products' side we find only 26 atoms of O.

Your balancing seems correct.

Although the compound $$\ce{C_4HO}$$ seems ridiculous. So I'm not sure if the reaction is correct.

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