If both reactants are strong, what type of arrow would you use for the reaction?If both reactants are strong, what type of arrow would you use for the reaction? Justify your answer.

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bandmanjoe's profile pic

bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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When describing chemical interactions with each other, most reactions proceed in a given direction with each other.  This direction is symbolized with the use of an arrow ( ---> )  to indicate the direction of the chemical progress.  Strong reactants, which are generally listed on the left of the equation, react with each other, usually swapping components in some form or fashion.  In the reaction of a strong acid with a strong base, a salt and water are formed as products, which are generally listed on the right side of the equation.  Such a chemical reaction is shown below, with the combination of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide:

HCl  +  NaOH  --->  NaCl  +  H2O

The hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide swap partners in what is known as a double replacement reaction, forming sodium chloride, common table salt, and water.  The interaction of strong components with each other usually progresses in one direction only, to the right.

jerichorayel's profile pic

jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Arrows pertain to the reaction progress of a specific chemical synthesis. In general we cannot say that the reactanst are strong, perhaps it is better to state that the reaction is spontaneous.

*strong reaction maybe derived from strong acid + strong base

in this case, you should use a single arrow head pointing from left to right  ▬►

this king of arrow pertains spontaneity or the reaction will go to completion.

for example:

NaOH + HCl   ->    NaCl + H2O

NaOH and HCl are strong acids and bases therefore the reaction will procede to completion thus  we use that kind of arrow to pertain that the reaction is finished.



hope this helps 

sanjeetmanna's profile pic

sanjeetmanna | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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The arrows in the reaction are three types they are forward backward and two way arrow when the reaction is reversible ie., forward is equal to backward reaction

Forward reaction →

Backward reaction ←

reversible reaction ↔

If the reactants are very strong it will not help to explain the type of reaction ie., if it is forward or backward or reversible.

NaOH + HCl → NaCl + H2O

Here both the reactant are strong and the reaction is forward reaction

NaCl + AgNO3 ↔ AgCl + NaNO3 

reversible reaction NaCl is strong AgCl is also strong


So here we can see that in both the reaction the reactant are strong but both have two different arrows that is one with forward arrow and one with reversible.


Thus this shows that the stronger reactants doesnot answer the direction of the arrow.

The direction of the arrow depends upon the stability of the reaction, and also depends upon many other factors like temperature, ph, concentration etc.,

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