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Q. 4.7

Write the balanced (a) molecular, (b) overall ionic, and (c) net ionic equations that describe the reaction that takes place when an aqueous solution of nitric acid is neutralized by an aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide.

Verified Solution

Collect and Organize Solutions of nitric acid and calcium hydroxide take part in a neutralization reaction. Our task is to write three different equations describing the neutralization reaction.

Analyze We know that calcium hydroxide $[Ca(OH)_{2}]$ is the base and nitric acid $(HNO_{3})$ is the acid. The products of a neutralization reaction are water and a salt. (a) All species are written as neutral compounds in the molecular equation. The products are water and calcium nitrate, the salt made from the cation of the base and the anion of the acid. (b) We can write each substance in the balanced molecular equation in ionic form to generate the overall ionic equation. (c) Removing spectator ions from the overall ionic equation gives us the net ionic equation.

Solve
a. The molecular equation is

$HNO_{3} (aq) + Ca(OH)_{2}(aq) → Ca(NO_{3})_{2}(aq) + H_{2}O(\ell )$                                  (unbalanced)
$2 HNO_{3} (aq) + Ca(OH)_{2}(aq) → Ca(NO_{3})_{2}(aq) + 2 H_{2}O(\ell )$                                (balanced)

b. The overall ionic equation is

$2 H^{+}(aq) + 2 NO_{3}^{-}(aq) + Ca^{2+}(aq) + 2 OH^{-}(aq) → Ca^{2+}(aq) + 2 NO_{3} ^{-}(aq) + 2 H_{2}O(\ell )$

c. The spectator ions are $Ca^{2+}$ and $NO_{3} ^{-}$. Removing them gives us the net ionic equation:

$2 H^{+}(aq) + 2 OH^{-}(aq) → 2 H_{2}O(\ell)$

or

$H^{+}(aq) + OH^{-}(aq) → H_{2}O(\ell)$

Think About It We treat chemical equations just like algebraic equations, canceling out spectator ions that are unchanged in the reaction and appear on both sides of the reaction arrow in the overall ionic equation. After canceling the spectator ions, we are left with the net ionic equation, which focuses on the species that were changed as a result of the reaction. It is also important to remember that nitrate is a polyatomic ion (see Table 2.3)

 Table 2.3  Names, Formulas, and Charges of Some Common Polyatomic Ions Name Chemical Formula Acetate $CH_{3}COO^{-}$ Carbonate $CO_{3}^{2-}$ Hydrogen carbonate or bicarbonate $HCO_{3}^{-}$ Cyanide $CN^{-}$ Hypochlorite $CIO^{-}$ Chlorite $CLO_{2}^{-}$ Chlorate $CLO_{3}^{-}$ Perchlorate $CLO_{4}^{-}$ Dichromate $Cr_{2}O_{7}^{2-}$ Chromate $CrO_{4}^{2-}$ Permanganate $MnO_{4}^{-}$ Azide $N_{3}^{-}$ Ammonium $NH_{4}^{+}$ Nitrite $NO_{2}^{-}$ Nitrate $NO_{3}^{-}$ Hydroxide $OH^{-}$ Peroxide $O_{2}^{2-}$ Phosphate $PO_{4}^{3-}$ Hydrogen phosphate $HPO_{4}^{2-}$ Dihydrogen phosphate $H_{2}PO_{4}^{-}$ Disulfide $S_{2}^{2-}$ Sulfate $SO_{4}^{2-}$ Hydrogen sulfate or bisulfate $HSO_{4}^{-}$ Sulfite $SO_{3}^{2-}$ Hydrogen sulfite or bisulfite $HSO_{3}^{-}$ Thiocyanate $SCN^{-}$

that retains its identity in solution and does not separate into atoms and ions. Note that the net ionic equation is the same as in the reaction of an aqueous solution of HCl with aqueous NaOH.