# Neutralization reaction between ammonia and nitric acid

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.

• All this is already in previous answer. Commented May 18, 2018 at 20:31
• @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? Commented May 19, 2018 at 11:16