What happens when alka seltzer
is mixed with water?

                              When solid dry powders of NaHCO3 and acetyl-salicylic acid are pressed together to make a tablet, being solids, the molecules are not mobile enough to react. Adding water dissolves both and allows them to mingle and react. The disintegration of the reaction and the stirring from the gas bubbles help the "aspirin" dissolve in the water to a degree of dilution at which it is not objectionable to taste and will not irritate the stomach as direct contact with a solid acid might. It is now a large, strong dose of the medicine, very uniformly dispersed.     


                                  H-Ac + NaHCO3 --> Na+ & Ac- & H2O & CO2(gas)

         Reactants                                                                                              Products

               H = 2                                                                                                               H = 2

              Ac = 1                                                                                                               Ac = 1

              Na = 1                                                                                                               Na = 1

                C = 1                                                                                                                  C = 1

                O = 3                                                                                                                  O = 3

  1. An Alka-Seltzer tablet contains aspirin, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid. When placed in water the sodium bicarbonate and citric acid react with each other to form bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. acid.




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