Table of contents

Word equation

ammonia + water → ammonium hydroxide

Input interpretation 

NH3 + H2O → NH4OH

Ammonia water ammonium hydroxide

Balanced equation

Balance the chemical equation algebraically:

NH3 + H2O → NH4OH

Add stoichiometric coefficients, c, to the reactants and products:

c1NH3 + c2H2O → c3 NH4OH

Set the number of atoms in the reactants equal to the number of atoms in the products for H, N and O:

H: 3c1+ 2c2 = 5c3

N: c1 = c3

O: c2 = c3

Since the coefficients are relative quantities and underdetermined, choose a coefficient to set arbitrarily. To keep the coefficients small, the arbitrary value is ordinarily one. For instance, set c1 = 1 and solve the system of equations for the remaining coefficients:

c1 = 1 c2=1


Substitute the coefficients into the chemical reaction to obtain the balanced



NH3 + H2O → NH4OH