MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Must the products of a neutralization reaction be a salt and water only?

Date: Sun Mar 25 23:53:44 2001
Posted By: Xianlong Wang, Grad student, Chemistry, Nanjing University
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 983714869.Ch

Re:Must the products of a neutralization reaction be a salt and water only?

In reaction 1: PbO2 + 4HCl -> PbCl2 + 2H2O + Cl2, the oxidation state of 
elements of Pb and Cl change from +4 and -1 to +2 and 0, respectively. So 
this is an oxidation-reduction reaction, not a neutralization reaction. 
PbO2 is reduced by HCl to PbCl2.

In reaction 2: PbO + 2HNO3 -> Pb(NO3)2 + H20, no element has change its 
oxidation state. It is a neutralization reaction. PbO just behaves as a 
base, HNO3 as an acid. 

Whether a reaction is a neutralization one is 
judged according to the oxidation state change,  not products, although 
the products of a neutralization reaction only include salts and water. 
Some oxidation-reduction reaction also only has salt and water products.

Reference: Inorganic Chemistry. Ed. by Xizhang Cao et al. Higher Education 

Dan Berger adds:
Another example of a redox reaction giving salt/water products is the bleach 
oxidation of alcohols:

R2CHOH + NaOCl -> R2C=O + NaCl + H2O

This is an oxidation because the organic molecule has been oxidized from an 
alcohol to a ketone. 

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