# What happens when you combine silver nitrate with sodium chloride?

Apr 3, 2017

The solution will first form a white precipitate, then eventually turn black.

#### Explanation:

Combining silver nitrate $A g N {O}_{3}$ with sodium chloride $N a C l$ is a double replacement reaction. The positive and negative ions trade places. See the chemical reaction below

$A {g}^{+} \left(a q\right) + N {O}_{3}^{-} \left(a q\right) + N {a}^{+} \left(a q\right) + C {l}^{-} \left(a q\right) \to A g C l \left(s\right) + N {a}^{+} \left(a q\right) + N {O}_{3}^{-} \left(a q\right)$

The sodium ion $\left(N {a}^{+}\right)$ and the nitrate ion $\left(N {O}_{3}^{-}\right)$ do not react and stay in the solution as spectator ions.

The silver ion $A {g}^{+}$ combines with the chloride ion $C {l}^{-}$ to form insoluble silver chloride (AgCl) which is white; it turns the solution black when the solute is exposed to light.