Complete and balance the following molecular equation (in aqueous solution); include phase labels. Then, write the net ionic equation.

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$~ceNH_3 + HNO_3 -> ?$

I thought that the acid $ceHNO3$ would just give its hydrogen to $ceNH3$ and make the resulting reaction:

$$ceNH_3 + HNO_3 -> HNH_3 + NO_3$$

However the correct answer is $ceNH_3 + HNO_3 -> NH_4NO_3$. Why is this?


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Your answer is very close to the answer given, except for the following two tidbits (the first being more significant).

An acid-base reaction is not the exchange of a hydrogen atom $ceH$. It is the exchange of a hydrogen ion (or proton) $ceH+$. Thus your answer should be: $$ceNH3(aq) +HNO3(aq) -> NH4+(aq) + NO3-(aq)$$

The given answer combines the two ions produced into a single compound. $$ceNH4+(aq) + NO3-(aq) ->NH4NO3(aq)$$

The result of #2 would be reasonable if you had not been told that the reaction was occurring in aqueous solution. In aqueous solution, the products should have been those of #1, since ammonium nitrate is freely soluble in water.

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Molecular equation:

$$ceNH3(aq) + HNO3(aq) -> NH4NO3(aq)$$

Net ionic equation:

$$ceNH3(aq) + H^+(aq)-> NH4^+(aq)$$

Note: $ceNH4NO3$ is not solid in aqueous solution. It is quite soluble.


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