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Question

Complete and balance the following reaction:${\mathrm{HNO}}_{3}+\mathrm{HCl}\left(\mathrm{conc}\right)\to$

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Solution

When Hydrochloric acid ($\mathbf{HCl}$) reacts with Nitric Acid (${\mathbf{HNO}}_{\mathbf{3}}$) it forms Nitrosyl chloride ($\mathbf{NOCl}$), 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: $\underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitric}\mathrm{acid}\right)}{{\mathrm{HNO}}_{3}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}+\underset{\left(\mathrm{Hydrogen}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{\mathrm{HCl}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}\to \underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitrosyl}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{\mathrm{NOCl}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)}+{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}\left(\mathrm{l}\right)+{\mathrm{Cl}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$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 acidSimilarly, 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: $\underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitric}\mathrm{acid}\right)}{{\mathrm{HNO}}_{3}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}+\underset{\left(\mathrm{Hydrogen}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{3\mathrm{HCl}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}\to \underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitrosyl}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{\mathrm{NOCl}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)}+{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}\left(\mathrm{l}\right)+{\mathrm{Cl}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$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: $\underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitric}\mathrm{acid}\right)}{{\mathrm{HNO}}_{3}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}+\underset{\left(\mathrm{Hydrogen}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{3\mathrm{HCl}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}\to \underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitrosyl}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{\mathrm{NOCl}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)}+2{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}\left(\mathrm{l}\right)+{\mathrm{Cl}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$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 acidSimilarly, 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:$\underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitric}\mathrm{acid}\right)}{{\mathrm{HNO}}_{3}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}+\underset{\left(\mathrm{Hydrogen}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{3\mathrm{HCl}\left(\mathrm{aq}\right)}\to \underset{\left(\mathrm{Nitrosyl}\mathrm{chloride}\right)}{\mathrm{NOCl}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)}+2{\mathrm{H}}_{2}\mathrm{O}\left(\mathrm{l}\right)+2{\mathrm{Cl}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}$

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