In the following reaction

$$\ce{S (s) + O2 (g) -> SO2 (g)}$$

there are no spectator ions because both $\ce{S}$ and $\ce{O2}$ take part in the reaction. Does that mean the net ionic equation is the same as the molecular equation?

I think there should not be a net ionic equation at all, because there are no ions in the reactants.


1 Answer 1


You are right, you can't write ionic equation for that reaction. Quick search showed me that even the mechanism doesn't really involve any kind of ions, which, I'd say, is completely logical, considering reaction conditions, which favor homolytic, not heterolytic bond cleavage.

You can only write ionic equations for reactions where ions are in charge, and they are preferably formed in polar medium.

P. S. The mechanism of S+O2 reaction isn't researched much, so here is the study of H2S+O2 reaction .


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