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This is an oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction:

PbII + 2 e- → Pb0 (reduction)

2 Cl-I - 2 e- → 2 Cl0 (oxidation)

PbCl2 is both an oxidizing agent and reducing agent.

Word equation

lead(II) chloride → lead + chlorine

Input interpretation

PbCl2 → Pb + Cl2

lead(II) chloride lead chlorine

Balanced equation

Balance the chemical equation algebraically:

PbCl2 → Pb + Cl2

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

c1PbCl2 → c2Pb + c3Cl2

Set the number of atoms in the reactants equal to the number of atoms in the products for Cl and Pb:

Cl: 2c1 = 2c3

Pb: c1 = c2

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


c3 = 1

Substitute the coefficients into the chemical reaction to obtain the balanced



PbCl2 → Pb + Cl2