# 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. – Mithoron May 18 '18 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? – Dr. J. May 19 '18 at 11:16