When sodium combines with water to produce sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas, what is the balanced equation?

Expert Answers
cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

2Na + 2H2O = 2NaOH + H2

atyourservice | Student

All you need to do is to break down the problem one by one, this will help you a lot.

sodium = Na

combines= +

with water = H2O OR H+OH-

to produce = --->

sodium = Na

hydroxide = OH

hydrogen gas = H(g)

Na + H+OH- ---> NaOH + H2(g)

now all you balance out the equation: 

2Na + 2H+OH- ---> 2NaOH + H2(g)

jillyfish | Student

Hydrogen molecules are diatomic. In its normal state, two hydrogen atoms bond to form a hydrogen molecule, H2.


Na + H2O = NaOH + H would not work because H is not the product of the reaction.

You need

2Na + 2H2O = 2NaOH + H2