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Question

Complete and balance the following reaction:

HNO3+HCl(conc)


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Solution

  • When Hydrochloric acid (HCl) reacts with Nitric Acid (HNO3) it forms Nitrosyl chloride (NOCl), water, and Nascent chlorine.
  • A mixture of Nitric acid and Hydrochloric acid, at a molar ratio of 1:3 optimally is also known as Aqua regia.
  • Aqua regia can dissolve noble metals such as gold and platinum.
  • The chemical reaction is as follows:

HNO3(aq)(Nitricacid)+HCl(aq)(Hydrogenchloride)NOCl(g)(Nitrosylchloride)+H2O(l)+Cl2(g)

Step 1: Balancing the reaction:

  • In order to balance such equation we first calculate the number of molecules on both sides of the reaction.
  • On the reactant side: 1 Hydrogen, 1 Nitrogen, and 3 Oxygen are present in Nitric acid
  • Similarly, 1 Hydrogen and 1 Chlorine are present in Hydrogen chloride.
  • On the product side: 1 Nitrogen, 1 Oxygen, and 1 Chlorine are present in Nitrosyl chloride.
  • Similarly, 2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen are present in the water molecule and 2 Chlorine molecules are also liberated.

Step 2: Balancing the reactant molecules: Multiplying 3 with Hydrogen chloride.

  • The chemical equation is as follows: HNO3(aq)(Nitricacid)+3HCl(aq)(Hydrogenchloride)NOCl(g)(Nitrosylchloride)+H2O(l)+Cl2(g)
  • The number of molecules of Hydrogen is more on the reactants side, therefore we have to balance the product side as well.

Step 3: Balancing the product molecules: Multiplying 2 with a water molecule.

  • The chemical equation is as follows: HNO3(aq)(Nitricacid)+3HCl(aq)(Hydrogenchloride)NOCl(g)(Nitrosylchloride)+2H2O(l)+Cl2(g)
  • Thus, we balance both sides of the equation i.e. a number of reactant molecules are equal to the product molecules.
  • On the reactant side: 1 Hydrogen, 1 Nitrogen, and 3 Oxygen are present in Nitric acid
  • Similarly, 3 Hydrogen and 3 Chlorine are present in Hydrogen chloride.
  • On the product side: 1 Nitrogen, 1 Oxygen, and 1 Chlorine are present in Nitrosyl chloride.
  • Similarly, 4 Hydrogen and 2 Oxygen are present in the water molecule and 2 Chlorine molecules are also liberated.

Thus, the complete balance equation is as follows:HNO3(aq)(Nitricacid)+3HCl(aq)(Hydrogenchloride)NOCl(g)(Nitrosylchloride)+2H2O(l)+2Cl2(g)


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