Table of contents

Word equation

sodium hydroxide + hydrogen chloride → sodium chloride + water

Input interpretation

NaOH + HCL → NaCl + H2O

 Sodium hydrogen hydrogen chloride sodium chloride water

Balanced equation

Balance the chemical equation algebraically:

NaOH + HCL → NaCl + H2O

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

c1NaOH + c2HCL → c3 NaCl + c4 H2O

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

H: c1+ c2 = 2c4

Na: c1 =c3

O: c1=c4 

Cl: c2=c3

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 c1 = 1 and solve the system of equations for the remaining coefficients:

C1 = 1 C2=1

C3 = 1 C4 = 1

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


NaOH + HCL → NaCl + H2O