11. Conservation of Mass,       Charge, and Energy   Previous PageNext Page
       Conservation of Electrons

It is obvious that five iron atoms are required for every manganese atom, in order that the changes in oxidation numbers cancel:

Eight hydrogen ions are needed to use up the four oxygen atoms on the left, leading to four water molecules on the right:


In choosing a 1-to-5 ratio of Mn-to-Fe, we ensured that oxidation number was conserved. By adding the hydrogen ions we obtained an equation that balanced the number of each atom. As a final check, the net charge on each side of the equation can be tested, and found to be the same: +17. This oxidation-reduction equation now is balanced with respect to electrons, atoms, and charge.

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