Reaction Between Ethanoic Acid and Sodium Hydroxide

Carboxylic acids are those containing the “oic acid ending” and looking at these molecules you’ll realize a similarity in terms of carbon to oxygen and hydrogen bonds. All carboxylic have the “COOH” group attached to their molecules. One such good example of a carboxylic acid is ethanoic acid:

Sodium hydroxide is a metal hydroxide having the formula:

If you have already done reactions involving acids and metal hydroxides you should probably already know the product that should be formed between these two.
When an acid reacts with a metal hydroxide the type of reaction that takes place is one of a neutralization reaction where the hydrogen ions are removed from the acid molecule and reacts with the hydroxide ions of the metal hydroxide. A salt and water will be the products of your reaction. The ionic equation below shows the reaction:
H+(aq) + OH-(aq) ==> H2O(l)

In this case the acid would be ethanoic acid and the metal hydroxide would be sodium hydroxide. Therefore it also follows that a neutralization reaction will take place between the ethanoic acid and the sodium hydroxide. The hydrogen ion will be removed from the ethanoic acid and replaced by the sodium metal forming a salt of a carboxylic acid known as sodium ethanoate. The hydrogen will then react with the hydroxide ions from the NaOH to form water. Since it’s a neutralization reaction no colour will be observed in the solution. The full equation for the reaction is:
(you could also use the ionic equation given above)
Or in words:
Ethanoic acid + Sodium Hydroxide ==> Sodium Ethanoate + Water

This equation will also be useful when testing for carboxylic acids using ethanoic acid as a typical one. You’ll realize that the strong smell/odor from the ethanoic acid will be gone when reacted with sodium hydroxide because it forms a neutrilisation reaction with the NaOH.

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18 Response to Reaction Between Ethanoic Acid and Sodium Hydroxide

November 1, 2011 at 10:11 PM


January 20, 2014 at 3:05 AM

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December 21, 2015 at 3:42 AM

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January 5, 2017 at 3:54 AM

thanks :) help for homework hehe

April 3, 2017 at 8:01 AM

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January 29, 2018 at 11:59 PM

Thank you for describing this difference in more clear words.
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January 30, 2018 at 12:12 AM

Would love to see more differentiating posts of more acids.
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February 10, 2018 at 8:02 AM

Thanks, helped with my homework

May 29, 2018 at 2:39 AM

A salt and water will be the products of that reaction.
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August 14, 2018 at 6:59 PM

Thank you so much, helped me read for my exams. I'm from Abia state university

August 14, 2018 at 7:00 PM

That's what's there miss

September 3, 2018 at 5:17 AM

Then how for the ionic equation??

September 3, 2018 at 5:18 AM

Then how for the ionic equation??

September 3, 2018 at 5:18 AM

Then how for the ionic equation??

September 3, 2018 at 5:19 AM

Then how for the ionic equation??

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