Using a Chemical Formula to Make an Aqueous Sodium Chloride Solution

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Sodium chloride (NaCl) is an ionic compound that occurs in sea water and salt lakes. It is also mined as rock salt, which can be used in various industries.

Using a Chemical Formula to Make an Aqueous Solution

One of the best ways to understand what aqueous means is to think about what happens when you dissolve something. A liquid has many touching, random atoms, but it also has shells of hydration (water molecules that are highly organized) in between each molecule. This is the same thing that happens in a solid (the atoms are packed into a regular grid).

An aqueous solution has mostly touching, randomly oriented water molecules, but it also has those shells of hydration, which are highly organized like the structure of a solid. This makes an aqueous solution more organized than a liquid but less organized than a solid.

How to Make an Aqueous Sodium Chloride Solutions

A simple way to make an aqueous sodium chloride solution is by mixing HCl and NaOH in a solution of water. Sodium chloride reacts with both the acid and the base, creating salt and water.

This reaction is an example of what we call a double-displacement type reaction, because the reaction between HCl and NaOH produces two products – salt and water – as well as chlorine gas. The chlorine gas forms at the bottom, while the sodium hydroxide reacts with the chlorine to form the product, aqueous sodium chloride.