Learning Objectives

Identify one acid and also a base.Identify a neutralization reaction and also predict its products.

You are watching: Predicting the products of a neutralization reaction

In thing 3 “Atoms, Molecules, and Ions”, ar 3.5 “Acids”, we characterized an mountain as an ionic link that consists of H+ as the cation. This is contempt incorrect, but until added concepts to be developed, a better definition essential to wait. Currently we can redefine one acid: one acidis any type of compound that increases the lot of hydrogen ion (H+) in an aqueous solution. The chemical opposite that an acid is a base. The equivalent an interpretation of a base is the a baseis a compound that boosts the amount of hydroxide ion (OH−) in one aqueous solution. This original interpretations were proposed by Arrhenius (the same human who suggest ion dissociation) in 1884, therefore they are described as the Arrhenius definition of one acid and also a base, respectively.

You may recognize that, based upon the description of a hydrogen atom, one H+ ion is a hydrogen atom that has lost that is lone electron; the is, H+ is merely a proton. Do we really have actually bare proton moving around in aqueous solution? No. What is more likely is that the H+ ion has attached itself to one (or more) water molecule(s). To stand for this chemically, we specify the hydronium ionH3O+(aq), a water molecule v an extra hydrogen ion attached to it. As H3O+, i beg your pardon represents second proton attached come a water molecule. We use the hydronium ion together the much more logical way a hydrogen ion appears in one aqueous solution, back in many chemical reactions H+ and also H3O+ room treated equivalently.

The reaction of one acid and a basic is dubbed a neutralization reaction. Although acids and bases have their own distinct chemistries, the acid and also base cancel every other’s chemistry to develop a fairly innocuous substance—water. In fact, the general reaction in between an acid and a basic is

acid +base →water +salt

where the term saltis generally used come define any type of ionic compound (soluble or insoluble) the is developed from a reaction between an acid and a base. (In chemistry, words salt ad to more than just table salt.) because that example, the well balanced chemical equation for the reaction in between HCl(aq) and KOH(aq) is

HCl(aq) +KOH(aq) →H2O(ℓ) +KCl(aq)

where the salt is KCl. By counting the variety of atoms of each element, we find that only one water molecule is formed as a product. However, in the reaction in between HCl(aq) and also Mg(OH)2(aq), added molecules the HCl and H2O are forced to balance the chemistry equation:

2 HCl(aq) +Mg(OH)2(aq) →2 H2O(ℓ) +MgCl2(aq)

Here, the salt is MgCl2. (This is among several reactions the take location when a kind of antacid—a base—is provided to law stomach acid.)

Example 11

Write the neutralization reactions in between each acid and base.

HNO3(aq) and Ba(OH)2(aq)H3PO4(aq) and Ca(OH)2(aq)


First, we will write the chemical equation with the formulas of the reactants and the expected products; climate we will certainly balance the equation.

The expected assets are water and also barium nitrate, therefore the initial chemical reaction is

HNO3(aq) +Ba(OH)2(aq) →H2O(ℓ) +Ba(NO3)2(aq)

To balance the equation, we have to realize the there will certainly be two H2O molecules, so two HNO3 molecules are required:

2HNO3(aq) +Ba(OH)2(aq) →2H2O(ℓ) +Ba(NO3)2(aq)

This chemical equation is now balanced.

The expected assets are water and also calcium phosphate, so the initial chemistry equation is

H3PO4(aq) +Ca(OH)2(aq) →H2O(ℓ) +Ca3(PO4)2(s)

According come the solubility rules, Ca3(PO4)2 is insoluble, for this reason it has actually an (s) step label. Come balance this equation, we need two phosphate ions and three calcium ions; we end up with 6 water molecules to balance the equation:

2 H3PO4(aq) +3 Ca(OH)2(aq) →6 H2O(ℓ) +Ca3(PO4)2(s)

This chemical equation is currently balanced.

Test Yourself

Write the neutralization reaction between H2SO4(aq) and Sr(OH)2(aq).


H2SO4(aq) +Sr(OH)2(aq) →2 H2O(ℓ) +SrSO4(aq)

Neutralization reactions room one form of chemical reaction that proceeds also if one reactant is no in the aqueous phase. For example, the chemical reaction between HCl(aq) and Fe(OH)3(s) tho proceeds follow to the equation

3 HCl(aq) +Fe(OH)3(s) →3 H2O(ℓ) +FeCl3(aq)

even though Fe(OH)3 is no soluble. As soon as one realizes the Fe(OH)3(s) is a ingredient of rust, this describes why some cleaning services for rust stains contain acids—the neutralization reaction produces commodities that are soluble and wash away. (Washing through acids prefer HCl is one method to remove rust and also rust stains, however HCl have to be used with caution!)

Complete and net ionic reactions for neutralization reaction will depend on whether the reactants and also products space soluble, also if the acid and base react. For example, in the reaction that HCl(aq) and NaOH(aq),

HCl(aq) +NaOH(aq) →H2O(ℓ) +NaCl(aq)

the complete ionic reaction is

H+(aq) +Cl−(aq) +Na+(aq) +OH−(aq) →H2O(ℓ) +Na+(aq) +Cl−(aq)

The Na+(aq) and also Cl−(aq) ions room spectator ions, for this reason we can remove them to have

H+(aq) +OH−(aq) →H2O(ℓ)

as the network ionic equation. If we want to compose this in terms of the hydronium ion, H3O+(aq), we would write the as

H3O+(aq) +OH−(aq) →2H2O(ℓ)

With the exception of the development of an extra water molecule, these two net ionic equations are equivalent.

However, for the reaction in between HCl(aq) and also Cr(OH)2(s), since chromium(II) hydroxide is insoluble, us cannot separate it right into ions because that the complete ionic equation:

2 H+(aq) +2 Cl−(aq) +Cr(OH)2(s) →2 H2O(ℓ) +Cr2+(aq) +2 Cl−(aq)

The chloride ions room the just spectator ion here, so the net ionic equation is

2 H+(aq) +Cr(OH)2(s) →2 H2O(ℓ) +Cr2+(aq)

Example 12

Oxalic acid, H2C2O4(s), and Ca(OH)2(s) react an extremely slowly. What is the net ionic equation in between these 2 substances if the salt developed is insoluble? (The anion in oxalic mountain is the oxalate ion, C2O42−.)


The assets of the neutralization reaction will certainly be water and also calcium oxalate:

H2C2O4(s) +Ca(OH)2(s) →2 H2O(ℓ) +CaC2O4(s)

Because nothing is dissolved, there space no substances come separate right into ions, for this reason the net ionic equation is the equation that the 3 solids and one liquid.

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Test Yourself

What is the network ionic equation in between HNO3(aq) and also Ti(OH)4(s)?


4 H+(aq) +Ti(OH)4(s) →4 H2O(ℓ) +Ti4+(aq)

Key Takeaways

The Arrhenius definition of an acid is a substance that boosts the quantity of H+ in one aqueous solution.The Arrhenius meaning of a basic is a substance that increases the amount of OH− in an aqueous solution.Neutralization is the reaction of an acid and also a base, which creates water and also a salt.Net ionic equations because that neutralization reaction may include solid acids, solid bases, heavy salts, and also water.