Water is formed from the reaction of an acid and a base. Why is it not classified as a salt?

1 Answer
Mar 28, 2016

Because a salt is formally the compound formed from the metal and non-metal counterions, when an acid and a base are neutralized to give water.


Now normally we represent a neutralization reaction as a net ionic equation, viz.:

#H_3O^+ + HO^(-) rarr H_2O(l)#

Now, of course, these ionic species are not discrete entities; they are each accompanied by a counterion. The base is normally associated with a metal cation, and the acid by a non-metal anion.

For example:

#"Sodium hydroxide" + "Hydrogen chloride" rarr "sodium chloride "+"water"#

Or, symbolically,

#NaOH(aq) + HCl(aq) rarr NaCl(aq) + H_2O(l)#

Most of the time, the counterions, natrium and chloride, are just along for the ride; they are present in solution as #Na^+(aq)#, the aquated complex.

If I've missed the point of your question, I apologize.