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I have to write my lab report in a paper-like style where we are forced to use twocolumn style.

I had a look around and found the multicols package does a good job at this because there are a few problems with the native [twocolumns] option for the document classes.

I would like to use the reaction environment provided by chemmacros because I have custom tags for reactions and then it's easier to automatic have separate tags for equations and for reactions. Another upside is that I can have a \listofreactions be created for my document.

That is why I do not want to use a align or equation environment itself.

Currently I looks like this: enter image description here

But I would the reactions to either break line (manually or automatically) or be fitted into the columnwidth.

I have tried:

\begin{reaction}
  \begin{split}
    Si(OEt)4\, (l) + 4 H2O\, (l) ->[ "cat.\," NaOH ]\\
    Si(OH)4\, (aq) + 4 EtOH\, (l)
  \end{split}
\end{reaction}
and for solution 2 (aluminium in NaOH, named: aluminate solution)
\begin{reaction}
  NaOH\,(aq) + Al\, (s) + 3 H2O\, (l) -> Na[Al(OH)4]\, (aq) + 3/2 
  H2\, (g) "."
\end{reaction}
Therefore we get 
\begin{reaction}
  12 Al(OH)3\, (aq) + 12 Si(OH)4\, (aq) + 12 NaOH\, (aq) -> 
  Na12((AlO2)12(SiO2)12)\, (aq) + 48 H2O\, (l) "."
\end{reaction}
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2 Answers 2

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There is an amsmath enviroment multline for equations in such a situation. chemmacros allows you to adapt this environment for reactions by doing:

\NewChemReaction{multreaction}{multline}

This gives you a much more natural input and no need for \hspace{...}s or \notags:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[margin=3cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{chemmacros}
% \chemsetup{modules=reactions} % not needed any more in an up to date macros

\NewChemReaction{multreaction}{multline}

\usepackage{multicol,lipsum}

\begin{document}

\begin{multicols}{2}
  \lipsum[1]
  \begin{multreaction}
    Si(OEt)4\lqd{} + 4 H2O\lqd{} ->[ "cat.~" NaOH ]\\
    Si(OH)4\aq{} + 4 EtOH\lqd
  \end{multreaction}
  and for solution 2 (aluminium in NaOH, named: aluminate solution)
  \begin{multreaction}
    NaOH\aq{} + Al\lqd{} + 3 H2O\lqd{} -> \\
    Na[Al(OH)4]\aq{} + 3/2 H2\gas{} "."
  \end{multreaction}
  Therefore we get 
  \begin{multreaction}
    12 Al(OH)3\aq{} + 12 Si(OH)4\aq{} + \\
    12 NaOH\aq{} -> \\
    Na12((AlO2)12(SiO2)12)\aq{} + 48 H2O\lqd{} "."
  \end{multreaction}
  \lipsum[2-4]
\end{multicols}

\end{document}

enter image description here

In the example above I also added \lqd, \aq, and \gas for the phase identifiers.

4

a solution with little manual alignment

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{chemmacros}
\chemsetup{modules=reactions}

\begin{document}

\begin{reactions}
        Si(OEt)4\, (l) + 4 H2O\, (l) "\hspace{5cm}" \notag \\
         ->[ "cat.\," NaOH ] Si(OH)4\, (aq) + 4 EtOH\, (l)
\end{reactions}
and for solution 2 (aluminium in NaOH, named: aluminate solution)
\begin{reaction}
    NaOH\,(aq) + Al\, (s) + 3 H2O\, (l) -> Na[Al(OH)4]\, (aq) + 3/2 
    H2\, (g) "."
\end{reaction}
Therefore we get 
\begin{reactions}
    12 Al(OH)3\, (aq) + 12 Si(OH)4\, (aq) + 12 NaOH\, (aq) "\hspace{2cm}" \notag \\
    -> Na12((AlO2)12(SiO2)12)\, (aq) + 48 H2O\, (l) "."
\end{reactions}

\end{document}

enter image description here

A reaction in four lines

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[margin=3cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{chemmacros}
\chemsetup{modules=reactions}
\usepackage{multicol}

\begin{document}

    \begin{multicols}{2}
        
        Therefore we get 
        \begin{reactions}
            12 Al(OH)3\, (aq) + 12 Si(OH)4\, (aq) "\hspace{1cm}" \notag \\
            + 12 NaOH\, (aq) -> "\hspace{2cm}" \notag \\
            Na12((AlO2)12(SiO2)12)\, (aq) "\hspace{0.5cm}" \notag \\
            + 48 H2O\, (l) "."
        \end{reactions}
        and for solution 2 (aluminium in NaOH, named: aluminate solution)
        
        \clearpage
    \end{multicols}
    
\end{document}

enter image description here

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  • 1
    That's a good approach, but unfortunately, your columns are wider than the ones the OP is working with. And the third reaction will require more than two lines. Nov 6, 2021 at 18:43
  • @barbara beeton see edit.
    – polyn
    Nov 6, 2021 at 21:07
  • Much better! Thanks. Nov 6, 2021 at 22:29

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