Vinegar (C2H4O2) and baking soda (NaHCO3) react to form sodium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide.? NaC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2How many total lithium (Li) atoms are expected in these reactants? A.0 B.1...

Vinegar (C2H4O2) and baking soda (NaHCO3) react to form sodium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide.? NaC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2How many total lithium (Li) atoms are expected in these reactants?

A.0

B.1

C.2

D.3

Asked on by hopie234

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t-nez | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

There are no lithium atoms present in either the reactants or the products of this reaction. 

As you stated, the reaction of vinegar (acetic acid) and baking soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate) produces sodium acetate, water and carbon dioxide according to the equation:

`C_2H_4O_2 + NaHCO_3 -> NaC_2H_3O_2 + CO_2 + H_2O`

Each formula in the equation represents the number and types of atoms in the molecule:

`C_2H_4O_2` has two carbon atoms, four hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. 

 `NaHCO_3` has one sodium, one hydrogen, one carbon and three oxygen atoms.

On the product side, 

`NaC_2H_3O_2`   has one sodium, two carbon, three hydrogen and two oxygen atoms.

`CO_2`   has one carbon and two oxygen atoms.

 `H_2O` has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.

Since lithium is in the same chemical family as sodium it forms a similar compound, lithium hydrogen carbonate, and would undergo the same reaction with vinegar. In this case the equation would show one lithium atom on the reactant side and one on the product side, just as it does for sodium. 

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