Question Video: Symbol Equation for the Reaction of the Precipitation of Agno3 with State Symbols Chemistry

When aqueous silver nitrate is mixed with aqueous sodium chloride, a white solid precipitate of silver chloride is produced. The symbol equation for this reaction is shown below. AgNO₃ (_) + NaCl (_) ⟶ AgCl (_) + NaNO₃ (_). Which state symbols should be added to each compound to complete the equation?

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Video Transcript

When aqueous silver nitrate is mixed with aqueous sodium chloride, a white solid precipitate of silver chloride is produced. The symbol equation for this reaction is shown below. AgNO3 blank plus NaCl blank react to form AgCl blank plus NaNO3 blank. Which state symbols should be added to each compound to complete the equation?

This question is asking us to add state symbols to a reaction equation. So, let’s remind ourselves what we mean by state symbols. State symbols tell us which physical state a substance is in at the time. We use the letter s for solid. The letter l for liquid, g for gas, and aq for aqueous, meaning dissolved in water. We are given our chemical reaction equation in the chemical symbol form, but our experimental detail uses the full word names for various compounds. To match these up, let’s convert our chemical symbol equation into a word equation to make life easier.

Our periodic table tells us that silver is Ag. Our compound contains nitrogen and oxygen, so that must make it a nitrate. So, here, we have silver nitrate. Na is the symbol for sodium and Cl, the symbol for chlorine. So, this gives us sodium chloride, the sort of thing you’d sprinkle on your fries. Next, we have silver and chlorine again, so this must be silver chloride. And finally, we have sodium again and nitrate, sodium nitrate. Next, we need to find each of these compounds in the experimental detail to work out which state it is in.

Silver nitrate is first. And the question tells us that it is aqueous. Aqueous means dissolved in water, and the state symbol for aqueous is aq. Next, we have sodium chloride. This is also listed as aqueous. Next, we’re looking for the first product, silver chloride. The question tells us that this forms as a white solid precipitate. So, this is a solid, so we use the letter s. But what about the sodium nitrate? It’s not specifically listed. We know that sodium nitrate didn’t precipitate as a solid. So it must have remained in solution as aqueous. So, we can label this also as aqueous. So, here we have our reaction equation, complete with state symbols.

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