Why is H+ sometimes written as H3O+ in equations?
- Why are neutralization reactions written with H3O+ instead of H+?
If a free hydrogen ion encounters a water molecule, it attacks the unshared electron pairs on the oxygen in the water molecule and
forms a hydronium ion, H3O+. The chemical bond that forms between the water and hydrogen ion is covalent and very strong. In an
aqueous solution, essentially all of the H+ exists as H3O+.
When people write "H+(aq)" in a chemical equation, it's understood that they really mean "H3O+(aq)". Writing hydrogen ions rather
than hydronium ions makes neutralization equations a little easier to read and balance.
Author: Fred Senese firstname.lastname@example.org
General Chemistry Online! Why is H^+^ sometimes written as H_3_O^+^ in equations?
Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
Comments & questions to email@example.com
Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/reactions/faq/print-hydronium.shtml