What is the balanced chemical equation that describes the reaction between ammonia and hydrochloric acid?

1 Answer
Mar 9, 2017

#"NH"_ (3(aq)) + "HCl"_ ((aq)) -> "NH"_ 4"Cl"_ ((aq))#


Ammonia and hydrochloric acid will react to form aqueous ammonium chloride, #"NH"_4"Cl"#, as described by the balanced chemical equation

#"NH"_ (3(aq)) + "HCl"_ ((aq)) -> "NH"_ 4"Cl"_ ((aq))#

Now, hydrochloric acid is a strong acid, which means that it dissociates completely in aqueous solution to release hydrogen ions, #"H"^(+)#, and produce chloride anions, #"Cl"^(-)#

#"HCl"_ ((aq)) -> "H"_ ((aq))^(+) + "Cl" _((aq))^(-)#

Ammonium chloride is a soluble ionic compound, so it too will exist as ions in solution.

This means that the complete ionic equation that describes this reaction can be written like this

#"NH"_ (3(aq)) + "H"_ ((aq))^(+) + "Cl" _ ((aq))^(-) -> "NH"_ (4(aq))^(+) + "Cl"_ ((aq))^(-)#

To get the net ionic equation, you must remove the spectator ions, i.e. the ions present on both sides of the equation

#"NH"_ (3(aq)) + "H"_ ((aq))^(+) + color(red)(cancel(color(black)("Cl" _ ((aq))^(-)))) -> "NH"_ (4(aq))^(+) + color(red)(cancel(color(black)("Cl" _ ((aq))^(-))))#

You will end up with

#"NH"_ (3(aq)) + "H"_ ((aq))^(+) -> "NH"_ (4(aq))^(+)#