Complete and balance the following molecular equation (in aqueous solution); include phase labels. Then, write the net ionic equation.

$~\ce{NH_3 + HNO_3 -> ?}$

I thought that the acid $\ce{HNO3}$ would just give its hydrogen to $\ce{NH3}$ and make the resulting reaction:

$$\ce{NH_3 + HNO_3 -> HNH_3 + NO_3}$$

However the correct answer is $\ce{NH_3 + HNO_3 -> NH_4NO_3}$. Why is this?


Your answer is very close to the answer given, except for the following two tidbits (the first being more significant).

  1. An acid-base reaction is not the exchange of a hydrogen atom $\ce{H}$. It is the exchange of a hydrogen ion (or proton) $\ce{H+}$. Thus your answer should be: $$\ce{NH3(aq) +HNO3(aq) -> NH4+(aq) + NO3-(aq)}$$

  2. The given answer combines the two ions produced into a single compound. $$\ce{NH4+(aq) + NO3-(aq) ->NH4NO3(aq)}$$

The result of #2 would be reasonable if you had not been told that the reaction was occurring in aqueous solution. In aqueous solution, the products should have been those of #1, since ammonium nitrate is freely soluble in water.


Molecular equation:

$$\ce{NH3(aq) + HNO3(aq) -> NH4NO3(aq)}$$

Net ionic equation:

$$\ce{NH3(aq) + H^+(aq)-> NH4^+(aq)}$$

Note: $\ce{NH4NO3}$ is not solid in aqueous solution. It is quite soluble.

  • $\begingroup$ All this is already in previous answer. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron May 18 '18 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron:The only previous answer that I see has NH4NO3 as a solid, and does not show the net ionic equation with NH3(aq) + H^+(aq), so that is why I submitted the current answer. If it is redundant, can it be removed? $\endgroup$ – Dr. J. May 19 '18 at 11:16

protected by ringo Apr 4 at 18:17

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.