Module 4.3: Net Ionic Equations


Table of

Chemical Equations

Reaction Types

Net Ionic Equations

Spectator Ions

Let's take a closer look at the reaction between sodium chloride and silver nitrate:

Since both of the reactants are soluble in water, before a reaction occurs, sodium, chloride, silver, and nitrate ions are in solution.

Sodium nitrate is also soluble in water so after the reaction has occured, sodium and nitrate ions are still floating in solution.

If we compare the solutions before and after the reaction, sodium and nitrate ions are present in both solutions. They do not undergo any chemical change at all. These ions are called spectator ions since they don't participate in the chemical reaction at all (they just "watch").

A chemical equation written without the spectator ions is called a net ionic equation. A net ionic equation includes only those ions or compounds that undergo chemical change.

The net ionic equation for this reaction is:

Net Ionic Equations