How to Solve a Neutralization Equation

The teacher writes the neutralization equation with water as the product.
••• BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

A neutralization equation is a chemical reaction that involves the combination of a strong acid and a strong base. The products of such a reaction are typically water and a salt. It is useful to know how to solve neutralization equations because they are often involved in chemistry experiments and they can help you to better understand the differences between acids and bases. Tables of strong acids and bases are often provided for reference.

    Write down the chemical formulas for the strong acid and the strong base that are the reactants of the neutralization equation. The problem will usually tell you what the reactants are. For example, the problem may state that hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide react with one another. The chemical formula for hydrochloric acid is HCl and the chemical formula for sodium hydroxide is NaOH.

    Analyze the reactants and determine which is the strong acid and which is the strong base. If the problem does not specify which is which, then you can find out by looking at a table of strong acids and bases online or in a chemistry book. In the problem with the HCl and the NaOH, the HCl is the strong acid and the NaOH is the strong base.

    Determine which type of reaction is occurring within the neutralization equation. Most of the time, the reaction is a double displacement reaction. This means that one of the elements or compounds of the one of the reactants combines with an element or compound of the other reactant. For example, if HCl and NaOH are the reactants, then the H of the HCl combines with the OH in the NaOH, and the Cl combines with the Na.

    Write out the entire neutralization reaction. For example, the reaction with the hydrochloric acid and the sodium hydroxide gives you HCl + NaOH gives you H2O + NaCl.

    Balance the chemical equation. Balancing the neutralization reaction involves the process of making sure that there is an equal number of moles of each of the elements on both sides of the equation. The neutralization equation of HCl + NaOH gives you H2O + NaCl is already balanced because there are two moles of H on both sides, one mole of Cl on both sides, one mole of Na on both sides, and one mole of O on both sides.

    Things You'll Need

    • Periodic table
    • Computer
    • Chemistry book
    • Pen
    • Paper

Related Articles

How to Find Out If a Compound Is a Strong Electrolyte
How to Find Mole Ratio
How to Calculate the Stoichiometric Ratio
How to Calculate End Point
How to Calculate Solubilities
How to Find Out If a Compound Is a Strong Electrolyte
How to Write & Balance a Decomposition Reaction
What Is the Number Written to the Left of the Chemical...
How to Calculate Kb From Ka
How to Calculate the Percent Ionization
How to Write Skeleton Equations
How to Find the PKA of a Weak Acid
What Are the Reactants & Products in Neutralization?
How to Solve a Titration Problem
How to Calculate Bicarbonate Concentration
How to Calculate HCO3 From CO2
How to Calculate Particle Concentration
How to Do Net Ionic Equations in Chemistry
How to Calculate Kf
Sulfuric Acid & Chlorine Bleach Reaction