When sulfuric acid is mixed with potassium hydroxide, a neutralization reaction occurs represented by this balanced equation: H2SO4 + 2KOH —> KSO4 + 2H2O. Sulfuric acid is a diprotic acid, which means that it yields two positive hydrogen ions per molecule of sulfuric acid. That is why two molecules of potassium hydroxide are needed to completely neutralize one molecule of sulfuric acid.
When an acid mixes with a base, the reaction always produces water and salt. The positive hydrogen ion of the acid reacts with the negative hydroxide ion of the base to form water. Salt is formed from the positively charged ion of the base and the negative ion of the acid. With the reaction between the acid H2SO4 and KOH, a base, the products are H2O (water) and KSO4 (potassium sulfate).
Knowing how to write a balanced equation of a chemical reaction is important in the determination of the unknown concentration, volume or weight of the reactants and the products. An acid and its neutralizing base are examples of reactants, which one may seek to determine these variables. For example, when neutralizing 1 ton of sulfuric acid, it is required to use 2,290 pounds of caustic potash, also known as KOH. The weight of the salt or dissolved solids produced from the reaction, which is 3,650 pounds, is also known beforehand.