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

Mar 9, 2017

${\text{NH"_ (3(aq)) + "HCl"_ ((aq)) -> "NH"_ 4"Cl}}_{\left(a q\right)}$

Explanation:

Ammonia and hydrochloric acid will react to form aqueous ammonium chloride, $\text{NH"_4"Cl}$, as described by the balanced chemical equation

${\text{NH"_ (3(aq)) + "HCl"_ ((aq)) -> "NH"_ 4"Cl}}_{\left(a q\right)}$

Now, hydrochloric acid is a strong acid, which means that it dissociates completely in aqueous solution to release hydrogen ions, ${\text{H}}^{+}$, and produce chloride anions, ${\text{Cl}}^{-}$

${\text{HCl"_ ((aq)) -> "H"_ ((aq))^(+) + "Cl}}_{\left(a q\right)}^{-}$

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

${\text{NH"_ (3(aq)) + "H"_ ((aq))^(+) + "Cl" _ ((aq))^(-) -> "NH"_ (4(aq))^(+) + "Cl}}_{\left(a q\right)}^{-}$

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

${\text{NH"_ (3(aq)) + "H"_ ((aq))^(+) -> "NH}}_{4 \left(a q\right)}^{+}$