Write and balance the equation for the reaction of hydrochloric acid (H2SO4) and sodium hydroxide to produce sodium sulfate and water.

Expert Answers
caledon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, we should recognize that the formula (H2SO4) is not hydrochloric acid. The root "chlor" in "hydochloric acid" denotes the presence of chlorine, which is not present in H2SO4. Hydrochloric acid is HCl. H2SO4 is sulfuric acid.

We need to combine sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide to produce sodium sulfate and water.

H2SO4 + NaOH   ---->   Na2SO4 + H2O

This is the skeleton equation; it shows us what the reactants and products are, but not their coefficients, i.e. how many of each molecule we need to complete the reaction.

In order to balance the equation, the number of atoms must be exactly the same on both sides. Currently, on the reactant side we have:

3H, 1S, 5O, 1Na

And on the reactant side we have:

2H, 1S, 5O, 2Na

The sodium atoms and the hydrogen atoms don't match. Balance the sodium first. It's usually much easier if you save hydrogen and oxygen for last. To balance the sodium, we have to increase the number of sodium hydroxide molecules in the reactants:

H2SO4 + 2(NaOH)   ---->   Na2SO4 + H2O

Now we have 4H, 1S, 6O, 2Na and 2H, 1S, 5O, 2Na.

Everything matches except the hydrogen and oxygen in the products. Fortunately we're missing exactly 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen: one H2O molecule.

H2SO4 + 2(NaOH)   ---->   Na2SO4 + 2(H2O)

4H:1S:6O:2Na ----> 4H:1S:6O:2Na

adarshanurag | Student

NaOH reacts with H2SO4 to give Sodium Sulfate and water

H2SO4 is a di-basic salt. It forms one acidic salt and one neutral salt.

The reaction occurs in two steps:-

1.     NaOH +H2SO4 -------> NaHSO4 + H2O

2.     NaOH + NaHSO4 -------> Na2SO4 +H20

Thus, 2NaOH +H2SO4 -------> Na2SO4 + 2H2O

Different process:-

metal hydroxide + H2SO4 ------> metal sulfate + water

        NaOH +H2SO4 -------> Na2SO4 + H2O

Now, Balance the reagents on the L.H.S to products on R.H.S

and we will get,

       2NaOH +H2SO4 -------> Na2SO4 +2 H2O  

parama9000 | Student

H2S04 + 2NaOH-----> Na2SO4 + 2H20

Yojana_Thapa | Student


  • Hydrochloric Acid: H2SO4
  • Sodium hydroxide: NaOH


  • Sodium Sulfate: Na2SO4
  • Water: H2O


H2SO4 + NaOH ----->  Na2SO4 + H2O

Balanced Equation:

H2SO4 + (2)NaOH -----> Na2SO4 + (2) H2O

saikrishna1032 | Student

H2SO4(aq) +2 NaOH(aq)  ----------> Na2SO4(aq)  + H2O(l)

is balanced equation. Thus 2 moles of NaOH reacts with 1 mole of H2SO4