This is an acid-base reaction (neutralization): NaOH is a base, H2SO4 is an acid.

### Word equation

sodium hydroxide + sulfuric acid → water + sodium sulfate

### Input interpretation

NaOH + H2SO4 → H2O + Na2SO4

Sodium hydroxide sulfuric acid water sodium sulfate

### Balanced equation

Balance the chemical equation algebraically:

NaOH + H2SO4 → H2O + Na2SO4

Add stoichiometric coefficients, c, to the reactants and products:

c1NaOH + c2 H2SO4 → c3H2O + c4Na2SO4

Set the number of atoms in the reactants equal to the number of atoms in the products for H, Na, O and S:

H: c1 + 2c2 = 2c3

Na: c1 = 2c4

O: c1 + 4c2 = c3 + 4c4

S: c2=c4

Since the coefficients are relative quantities and underdetermined, choose a coefficient to set arbitrarily. To keep the coefficients small, the arbitrary value is ordinarily one. For instance, set c2 = 1 and solve the system of equations for the remaining coefficients:

C1 = 2 C2=1

C3=2 C4=1

Substitute the coefficients into the chemical reaction to obtain the balanced equation: