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

Jan 7, 2016

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

#### Explanation:

If 2 equiv sodium hydroxide are used:

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

If 1 equiv sodium hydroxide is used:

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

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, $N a H S {O}_{4}$, which is still a fairly strong acid, and only the one equiv of water. Capisce?