How is energy transferred when sodium chloride is dissolved in water?

1 Answer
Nov 29, 2016


The making of bonds releases energy. The breaking of bonds requires energy.


When sodium chloride dissolves in the water, the following reaction occurs:

#NaCl(s) + "excess "H_2O rarr [Na(OH_2)_6]^(+) + [Cl(OH_2)_(4-6)]^(-)#

The #[Na(OH_2)_6]^(+)# species is the so-called aquated complex, which we would normally represent as #Na^+(aq)#. Bond formation of these ion-dipole bonds almost precisely equals the energy required required to disrupt the ionic lattice. Dissolution of sodium chloride is thus slightly endothermic.