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I'm asked to balance the potassium permanganate and hydrogen peroxide reaction. I misread the problem and thought that the reaction was in acidic solution. This is the result that I've got:

$$\ce{2MnO4 + 5H2O2 + 6H+ -> 2Mn^2+ +5O2 +8H2O}$$ What do I have to change to balance the equation in a basic solution?.

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  • $\begingroup$ The best approach is not to think in terms of changing this equation, but to just start over from scratch. $\endgroup$ – airhuff Apr 30 '17 at 17:54
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You basically just have to add hydroxide ions to either sides of your equilibrium.

$$\ce{2MnO4 + 5H2O2 + 6H+ + \color{blue}{6OH-} -> 2Mn^2+ +5O2 +8H2O + \color{blue}{6OH-}}$$

$\ce{H+}$ and $\ce{OH-}$ ions can be collectively re-written as $\ce{H2O}$, so we have:

$$\ce{2MnO4 + 5H2O2 + \color{blue}{6H2O} -> 2Mn^2+ +5O2 +8H2O + 6OH-}$$

Finally, we can cancel out the excess water molecules which leaves us with:

$$\ce{2MnO4 + 5H2O2 -> 2Mn^2+ +5O2 +2H2O + 6OH-}$$

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