Question Video: Identifying the Reaction That Will Not Produce a Salt Chemistry • 10th Grade

Which of the following reactions is unlikely to produce a salt? [A] Zn + H₂SO₄ [B] 2NH₃ + 2O₂ [C] HCl + NaOH [D] Na₂CO₃ + 2HCl [E] CuO + H₂SO₄


Video Transcript

Which of the following reactions is unlikely to produce a salt? (A) Zn plus H2SO4. (B) Two NH3 plus two O2. (C) HCl plus NaOH. (D) Na2CO3 plus two HCl. Or (E) CuO plus H2SO4.

A salt is an ionic compound made of cations and anions. Cations are positively charged ions and are typically formed by metals, which can be found on the periodic table to the left of the dotted zigzag line. A cation can be formed by losing electrons. For example, the metal sodium, when forming ionic compounds, often loses one valence electron, thus taking on a charge of one plus. Anions are negatively charged ions and are often formed by nonmetals, which can be found to the right of the dotted zigzag line on the periodic table. Anions can be formed by an atom gaining electrons. For example, the nonmetal chlorine, when forming ionic compounds, often gains one valence electron taking on a one-minus charge.

Cations and anions combine to form a salt. Because salts have both a positive cation component and a negative anion component, this will generally result in the salt having a neutral charge overall, although there are some exceptions.

Let’s look at our answer choices. There is only one answer choice that does not have both metals and nonmetals present, which is answer choice (B). This reaction will not form a salt but instead forms a nitrogen oxide and water, neither of which are ionic substances. Even though hydrogen is on the left side of the periodic table, it is to the right of the dotted zigzag line and thus is a nonmetal. So it tends to behave covalently rather than ionically.

The reaction between ammonia and oxygen is unlikely to form a salt, so the correct answer is (B) two NH3 plus two O2.

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