# How can I write dissociation equations?

Aug 9, 2014

To dissociate means to take apart.

When ionic compounds (compounds made from metals and non-metals) like sodium chloride $\text{NaCl}$ or iron(III) sulfate "Fe"_2("SO"_4)_3 are dissolved in water, they come apart into positive (metal) ions and negative (non-metal) ions.

When you write a dissociation reaction you separate the two ions, place their charges above their symbols, and then balance the entire equation.

For example, the dissociation of sodium chloride would look like this:

${\text{NaCl" → "Na"^+ + "Cl}}^{-}$

The dissociation of iron(III) sulfate would look like this:

${\text{Fe"_2("SO"_4)_3 → 2"Fe"^(3+) + 3"SO}}_{4}^{2 -}$