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Baking Soda and Vinegar

What Is the Equation for the Reaction Between Baking Soda and Vinegar?

In Baking Soda and Vinegar reaction (About.Com)  Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D, writes:

The reaction between baking soda and vinegar actually occurs in two steps.

baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) plus vinegar (acetic acid) yields carbon dioxide plus water plus sodium ion plus acetate ion

The chemical equation for the overall reaction is:

NaHCO3(s) + CH3COOH(l) → CO2(g) + H2O(l) + Na+(aq) + CH3COO(aq)

with s = solid, l = liquid, g = gas, aq = aqueous or in water solution

Another common way to write this reaction is:

NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 → NaC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2

The above reaction, while technically correct, does not account for the dissociation of the sodium acetate in water.

The chemical reaction actually occurs in two steps.

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First, there is double displacement reaction in which acetic acid in vinegar reacts with sodium bicarbonate to form sodium acetate and carbonic acid:

NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 → NaC2H3O2 + H2CO3

Carbonic acid is unstable and undergoes a decomposition reaction to produce the carbon dioxide gas:

H2CO3 → H2O + CO2

The carbon dioxide escapes the solution as bubbles.

A dilute sodium acetate solution remains after the reaction.

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