What is formed in the reaction between hydrogen sulfide and aqueous sodium carbonate? My guesses are sodium sulfite and/or sodium hydrogen sulfite. However, the equations don't seem to balance properly whenever I try to do it. For example:

$$\ce{H2S(g) + Na2CO3(aq) -> Na2SO3(aq) + H2(g)}$$

It seems quite strange that hydrogen gas would be produced in this kind of reaction. Whatever I do, I end up with a bunch of hydrogen atoms that can't combine with any oxygen, and I'm sure I'm missing something.

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    $\begingroup$ When an equation wouldn't balance at all, this is a subtle hint that something is really wrong with it. Where would carbon go, what do you think? $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jun 21 '16 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ To whoever downvoted, can you please explain what's wrong with the question? Otherwise, I can't fix it. $\endgroup$ – sadljkfhalskdjfh Jun 22 '16 at 0:15

The actual reaction is given here.

$$\ce{H2S + Na2CO3 → NaHS + NaHCO3}$$


Hydrogen sulfide react with sodium carbonate to produce sodium bisulfide and sodium bicarbonate. Hydrogen sulfide should be saturated solution.

While writing a reaction, you must balance the charges and atoms. In your proposed reaction, where did the carbon go? Indeed, the carbon from sodium carbonate gets converted in the form of sodium bicarbonate.

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    $\begingroup$ Do not forget to vetify that the reaction is thermodynamically favored. Among the acids --hydrogen sulfide on the left, bicarbonate ion on the right -- the weaker acid is favored. We can verify by looking up dissociation constants that bicarbonate ion is in fact the weaker acid here. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Jun 21 '16 at 19:23

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