Table of contents

This is an acid-base reaction (neutralization): NH4Cl is an acid, NaOH is a base.

Input interpretation

NH4Cl + NaOH → NH3 + H2O + NaCl

Ammonium chloride sodium hydroxide Ammonium hydroxide water sodium chloride 

Balanced equation

Balance the chemical equation algebraically: 

NH4Cl + NaOH → NH3 + H2O + NaCl

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

c1NH4Cl + c2NaOH → c3NH3 + c4H2O + c5NaCl

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

Cl: c1 = c5

H: 4c1+c2 = 3c3 + 2c4

N: c1 = c3

Na: c2 = c5

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

c1 = 1

c2 = 1

c3 = 1 

c4 = 1 

c5 = 1

Substitute the coefficients into the chemical reaction to obtain the balanced



NH4Cl + NaOH → NH3 + H2O + NaCl

Word equation

ammonium chloride + sodium hydroxide → ammonia + water + sodium chloride

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