Question Video: Balancing the Equation for the Decomposition of Barium Fluorosulfonate | Nagwa Question Video: Balancing the Equation for the Decomposition of Barium Fluorosulfonate | Nagwa

Question Video: Balancing the Equation for the Decomposition of Barium Fluorosulfonate Chemistry • First Year of Secondary School

Heating barium fluorosulfonate (Ba(SO₃F)₂) produces barium sulfate (BaSO₄) and another compound, X, according to the equation shown: Ba(SO₃F)₂ ⟶ BaSO₄ + X. What is the molecular formula of compound X?

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Video Transcript

Heating barium fluorosulfonate Ba(SO3F)2 produces barium sulfate BaSO4 and another compound X, according to the equation shown. Ba(SO3F)2 produces BaSO4 plus X. What is the molecular formula of compound X?

Before we can determine the molecular formula of compound X, we need to have a basic understanding of balanced chemical equations. A balanced chemical equation is a reaction equation where the number of atoms of each element is the same on both sides of the reaction. For example, if we take a look at this reaction equation, we can see that there is one atom of calcium on each side of the reaction arrow, one atom of carbon on each side of the reaction arrow, and three total atoms of oxygen on each side of the reaction arrow. The number of atoms of each element was the same on both sides of the reaction, so this chemical equation is balanced.

So in order to determine the molecular formula of compound X, we will need to determine the number of atoms of each element that are necessary to balance the reaction. Let’s start by making a list of the number of atoms of each element that are already accounted for in the reaction equation. In the equation, we see the elements barium, sulfur, oxygen, and fluorine. On the left-hand side of the reaction arrow, we see one atom of barium. Inside of the parentheses, we see one atom of sulfur, three atoms of oxygen, and one atom of fluorine. However, we need to take into account the subscript two outside of the parentheses.

The subscript means that there are two fluorosulfonate ions in this compound, so we’ll need to multiply the number of atoms inside of the parentheses by two. This means that on the left-hand side of the reaction equation, there are two sulfur atoms, six oxygen atoms, and two fluorine atoms. On the right side of the reaction equation, we see one atom of barium, one atom of sulfur, and four atoms of oxygen. Now we can use our understanding of balanced chemical equations to determine how many atoms of each element must be a part of compound X.

Looking at the atoms of barium, we see that there’s one atom of barium on each side of the reaction equation, so the atoms of barium are currently balanced. This means that compound X cannot contain any atoms of barium; otherwise, the atoms of barium would be unbalanced. Now let’s take a look at the atoms of sulfur. There are two atoms of sulfur on the left-hand side of the reaction equation, and only one accounted-for atom of sulfur on the right-hand side of the reaction equation. In order for the reaction to be balanced, there will need to be a total of two atoms of sulfur on both sides of the reaction equation. So compound X must contain one atom of sulfur.

Looking at the atoms of oxygen, we see six atoms of oxygen on the left-hand side of the reaction equation and four accounted-for atoms of oxygen on the right-hand side of the reaction equation. In order for the equation to be balanced, there must be six atoms of oxygen on both sides of the reaction equation. This means that compound X must contain two atoms of oxygen.

Finally, looking at the atoms of fluorine, we see that there are two atoms of fluorine on the left side of the reaction equation and no accounted-for atoms of fluorine on the right side of the reaction equation. So in order for the reaction equation to be balanced, compound X must contain two atoms of fluorine. We now know that compound X must contain one atom of sulfur, two atoms of oxygen, and two atoms of fluorine. We can express this information as the chemical formula SO2F2.

So heating barium fluorosulfonate produces barium sulfate and compound X, which has the molecular formula SO2F2.

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