Question Video: Identifying the Salt Product of the Reaction between Ethanoic Acid and Sodium Bicarbonate | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying the Salt Product of the Reaction between Ethanoic Acid and Sodium Bicarbonate | Nagwa

Question Video: Identifying the Salt Product of the Reaction between Ethanoic Acid and Sodium Bicarbonate Chemistry • Third Year of Secondary School

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A student reacts ethanoic acid with sodium bicarbonate and produces water and carbon dioxide. They also make an unidentified salt compound. What is the formula of the salt compound?

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Video Transcript

A student reacts ethanoic acid with sodium bicarbonate and produces water and carbon dioxide. They also make an unidentified salt compound. What is the formula of the salt compound? (A) CH3COONa, (B) CH3CH2CH2ONa, (C) CH3CH2COONa, (D) CH3CH2ONa, or (E) CH3CH2CH2COONa.

To answer this question, we need to determine the formula of a salt compound that is produced when ethanoic acid reacts with sodium bicarbonate. The ending “-oic acid” indicates that ethanoic acid is a carboxylic acid. Carboxylic acids contain a carboxyl group, which is represented in a chemical formula by COOH. When sodium bicarbonate is added to a carboxylic acid, an acid–base reaction occurs producing a sodium carboxylate, carbon dioxide gas, and water.

We are told in the question that the reaction between ethanoic acid and sodium bicarbonate produces water and carbon dioxide, along with an unidentified salt compound which must be a sodium carboxylate. To determine the formula of the sodium carboxylate salt, we need to know the formula of ethanoic acid. We already know that ethanoic acid is a carboxylic acid. So it must contain a carboxyl functional group. The prefix “eth-” indicates that this molecule contains two carbon atoms. The A-N term tells us that the two carbon atoms are joined by single bonds.

The carboxyl group already contains one carbon atom. So we need to add a second carbon atom joined to the first with a single bond. We then complete the structure by adding hydrogen atoms so that each carbon atom forms four total bonds. So the formula of ethanoic acid is CH3COOH.

Let’s take another look at the general equation for the reaction between a carboxylic acid and sodium bicarbonate. During this reaction, the carboxylic acid loses a hydrogen ion which is replaced by a sodium ion to produce the sodium carboxylate salt. So in order for ethanoic acid to form a salt via this reaction, the hydrogen of the carboxyl group must be lost as a hydrogen ion and be replaced by a sodium ion.

Looking at the answer choices, we can see that this chemical formula matches the one in answer choice (A). So the formula of the salt produced when ethanoic acid reacts with sodium bicarbonate is CH3COONa, answer choice (A).

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