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CS_Ch8_CoolChenistry

2/28/05

11:15 AM

Page 494

Cool Chemistry Show

Chem Words
salts: ionic compounds in
which the anion is not a
hydroxide ion (OH ) and
the cation is not a
hydrogen proton (H+).

precipitate.When examining double-displacement reactions, you know


that a reaction has taken place if you see:
a precipitate
a gas
water
If none of these are present, then no reaction had occurred.
Solubility Rules
A precipitate will form if the compound is not soluble in water. In the
example above, barium sulfate was not soluble in water.This was
noted in the equation by referring to it as a solid (s). Chemists have
created a set of solubility rules for salts. Salts are classified as ionic
compounds in which the anion is not a hydroxide ion (OH ) and the
cation is not a hydrogen proton (H+).
Solubility Rules

Checking Up
1. What is a synthesis
reaction? Provide
an example.
2. What is a
decomposition
reaction? Provide
an example.
3. Distinguish between
a single and a
double-displacement
reaction.
4. What evidence
would you look for
to determine if a
double-displacement
reaction has
occurred?
5. Will hydrochloric acid
react with a clean
strip of copper?
Explain your answer.
6. Is calcium sulfate
soluble in water?
Justify your answer.

1. All salts (defined as ionic compounds) of the alkali (Group 1 on

the periodic table) metals and the ammonium ion are soluble
in water.
2. All chlorides, bromides, and iodides are soluble with the
exception of silver, lead, and mercury halides.
3. All nitrate, chlorate, perchlorate, and acetate salts are soluble.
4. All sulfates are soluble with the exception of calcium, barium,
strontium, and lead.
5. All carbonates, phosphates, chromates, hydroxides, and sulfides

are insoluble except when they are combined with alkali metals
or the ammonium ion.
In the example above, barium sulfate formed a precipitate. Since
barium sulfate is insoluble, this agrees with the solubility rules. If you
mixed silver nitrate with sodium chloride, would you expect to get a
precipitate? The two products that would form are silver chloride
and sodium nitrate. The solubility rule #2 tells you that silver
chloride is insoluble and solubility rule #3 tells you that sodium
nitrate is soluble. Using these rules, you can now predict whether a
mixture will produce a precipitate or not.

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