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Can you have a triple replacement reaction?

  1. Oct 2, 2011 #1

    dnt

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    is it possible to have a triple replacement type reaction? I know of single and double replacement but what if you mix sodium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, and potassium sulfate all together (this is all made up just for an example).

    would all the different ions mix to form all possible products? in my example, would you then form sodium hydroxide, sodium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, potassium carbonate and potassium hydroxide? is this reaction balance-able?

    and what if two or more are precipitates? would they just all mix to form a new color?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2011 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Something tells me you just started to learn chemistry :wink:

    Most of the questions you asked are difficult to answer - not because these things are difficult, but because it doesn't work the way you think it does. How it works you will probably learn in the next few weeks, then you will see why your questions are off.

    That being said - when you mix several salts you don't have a solution of several salts, you have a solution containing dissociation products. Usually you can prepare identical solution in many ways - for example it doesn't matter if you mix NaCl and KOH or NaOH and KCl - assuming you got amounts of substances right, both solutions will be identical. Thus it is impossible to say if "all possible products" are formed. Also, just because you mixed salts doesn't mean they reacted - so if there is no reaction, there is no reaction equation, so there is nothing to balance.

    It is possible to have more than one precipitate, usually it will mean produced solid is a mixture.
     
  4. Oct 3, 2011 #3

    dnt

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    thank you for the reply.

    just to add to the question, hypothetically if you add NaCl and KOH you should get NaOH and KCl, right? but then if you add a 3rd reactant (say Ca(NO3)2) why doesnt it then continue to react with the NaOH and KCl that have now been created from the first reaction? it seems like its two or three separate reactions should be taking place all at the same time.

    and also how can there be no reaction as you pointed out? just curious. is that if all the reactants and products are soluble there is no reaction?

    thanks again.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2011 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    No. Just as I explained in my post - there will be no reaction.

    Just because they are all soluble is not enough, sodium carbonate and citric acid are both well soluble but they will react producing carbon dioxide (and water). But it just is this way - sometimes things that you mix do react, sometimes all you get is a mixture.
     
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