Solid sodium hydroxide (NaOH) decomposes into gaseous water and solid sodium oxide. Write the...

Question:

Solid sodium hydroxide (NaOH) decomposes into gaseous water and solid sodium oxide. Write the balanced equation for the reaction.

Chemical Equation:

In a chemical equation, we write the reactants on the reactant side (or the left side of the reaction arrow(s)) and products on the product side (or the right of the reaction arrow(s)). The arrow shows the direction(s) of the reaction progression.

Answer and Explanation: 1

The given reaction is the decomposition of solid sodium hydroxide (NaOH) into gaseous water and solid sodium oxide. Its skeletal chemical equation is:

{eq}\rm NaOH(s) \to H_2O(g) + Na_2O(s) {/eq}

To balance this, we need to adjust the stoichiometric coefficients in front of the chemical species so that there are the same number of atoms of each element on both sides of the chemical equation in agreement with the Law of the Conservation of Matter and Energy. We normally start balancing with the metal or least electronegative atoms (except hydrogen) and make adjustments from there. Hence, the balanced equation for the reaction is:

{eq}\rm 2NaOH(s) \to H_2O(g) + Na_2O(s) {/eq}


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Balanced Chemical Equation: Definition & Examples

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Chapter 10 / Lesson 18
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Learn about the steps to balancing chemical equations. Understand how to balance chemical equations, practice balancing chemical equations, and see examples.


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