# How do acids and bases neutralize each other?

Nov 28, 2015

The basic mantra: ACID + BASE $\rightarrow$ SALT + WATER.

#### Explanation:

For say, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, we would write:

Hydrochloric acid + sodium hydroxide $\rightarrow$ Sodium choride + water.

But, of course, we can use symbols:

$N a O H \left(a q\right) + H C l \left(a q\right) \rightarrow N a C l \left(a q\right) + {H}_{2} O \left(l\right)$

And we can be even more succinct than this:

${H}^{+} + O {H}^{-} \rightarrow {H}_{2} O \left(l\right)$, inasmuch as the $N {a}^{+} \left(a q\right)$ and $C {l}^{-} \left(a q\right)$ ions were along for the ride; this last reaction could also be referred to as the net ionic equation.

Now some acids have 2 equiv ${H}^{+}$ to contribute, e.g. sulfuric acid, ${H}_{2} S {O}_{4}$. To represent its acid base reaction, its neutralization reaction, I would write:

${H}_{2} S {O}_{4} \left(a q\right) + 2 N a O H \left(a q\right) \rightarrow 2 {H}_{2} O \left(l\right) + N {a}_{2} S {O}_{4} \left(a q\right)$

Your turn now, can you write equivalent reactions for the neutralization of nitric acid, $H N {O}_{3}$, with potassium hydroxide?