Write the equation for the reaction occurring when 1 mL of 1 M NaOH is mixed with 3 mL of 0.2 M H2SO4.

Expert Answers
ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The reaction between H2SO4 and NaOH produces sulfate salts and water.  Sulfuric acid has two available protons for reaction.  The first proton gives the following equation:

H2SO4 + NaOH --> NaHSO4 + H2O

The second proton gives the following equation:

NaHSO4 + NaOH --> Na2SO4 + H2O

Adding the two equations give the following net equation if the reaction goes to completion:

H2SO4 + 2NaOH --> Na2SO4 + 2H2O

Exactly how far the reaction progresses depends on the amounts of each reagent added.  1 mL of 1M NaOH gives 1 millimole of NaOH.  3 mL of 0.2 M of H2SO4 gives 0.6 millimoles of H2SO4.  This gives NaOH as the limiting reagent since you need 2 moles of base per mole of acid.  So the overall reaction does not go to completion.  The first deprotonation equation goes to completion but the second deprotonation will not go to completion.