# What are the steps to balance this equation? confused

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

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

• What is $\ce{C4HO}$? Is it supposed to be methanol? – orthocresol Mar 1 '16 at 19:48
• @orthocresol Exactly! I agree that it's probably $\ce{CH3OH}$. – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Mar 1 '16 at 19:49
• it says its butane, C4H1O – trav95 Mar 1 '16 at 20:02
• oh wait...i think this is all due to formatting error.. – trav95 Mar 1 '16 at 20:03
• 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. – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Mar 1 '16 at 20:14

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