Question Video: Identifying the Chemical Equation for the Reaction between Potassium Metal and Chlorine Gas | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying the Chemical Equation for the Reaction between Potassium Metal and Chlorine Gas | Nagwa

Question Video: Identifying the Chemical Equation for the Reaction between Potassium Metal and Chlorine Gas Science • Second Year of Preparatory School

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Potassium chloride is widely used as a fertilizer. It can be made by the reaction of potassium metal with chlorine gas. What is the correct, balanced chemical equation for this reaction?

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Video Transcript

Potassium chloride is widely used as a fertilizer. It can be made by the reaction of potassium metal with chlorine gas. What is the correct, balanced chemical equation for this reaction? (A) K plus Cl forms KCl, (B) K plus Cl2 forms KCl2, (C) K2 plus Cl2 forms two KCl, (D) two K plus Cl forms K2Cl, or (E) two K plus Cl2 forms two KCl.

So, the reaction is between potassium metal and chlorine gas. Potassium metal has the chemical symbol K. Chlorine gas exists as a diatomic molecule and has the formula Cl2. The metal potassium and nonmetal chlorine react to form potassium chloride. When potassium reacts, it tends to form one plus ions. And when chlorine reacts, it tends to form one minus ions. Therefore, the chemical formula of potassium chloride is KCl.

The chemical formulas for each species are correct, but the equation needs to be balanced. The chlorine atoms are unbalanced as there are two on the left side of the equation and one on the right. Therefore, to balance the chlorine, there should be two equivalents of potassium chloride. Although the number of chlorine atoms is now balanced, the number of potassium atoms is unbalanced, as there are two atoms of potassium on the right of the equation and one on the left. Therefore, there should be two equivalents of potassium metal. The equation is now balanced.

Therefore, the correct balanced chemical equation for this reaction is two K plus Cl2 forms two KCl, or answer choice (E).

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