What determines if in a reaction between sodium chloride and sulfuric acid you will get sodium bisulfate or sodium sulfate?

1 Answer
Jan 7, 2016

I presume you mean the reaction between sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid.


If 2 equiv sodium hydroxide are used:

#H_2SO_4(aq) + 2NaOH(aq) rarr Na_2SO_4(aq) + 2H_2O(l)#

If 1 equiv sodium hydroxide is used:

#H_2SO_4(aq) + NaOH(aq) rarr NaHSO_4(aq) + H_2O(l)#

Both reactions are balanced with respect to mass and charge (and they must be). The difference is the stoichiometry. Only the 1 equiv sodium hydroxide was added in the 2nd equation, therefore, the diprotic sulfuric acid reacted to give sodium bisulfate, #NaHSO_4#, which is still a fairly strong acid, and only the one equiv of water. Capisce?