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Types of Chemical Reactions

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17 February 2009 Types of Chemical Reactions Introduction The purpose of this experiment is to become familiar with chemical reactions, and the numerous different types of chemical reactions. According to the textbook, a chemical reaction is defined as a chemical change -a rearrangement of the ways in which the atoms are grouped. We know that a chemical reaction has taken place when something changes. For example, when steel changes from a smooth, shiny material to a reddish-brown, flaky substance known as rust, a chemical reaction has occurred. These reactions often show visual change, but are not always visible in some cases. There are many different types of chemical reactions: synthesis, decomposition, single displacement, double displacement, combustion, oxidation-reduction, and acid-base reactions. In this experiment, we learn about synthesis, decomposition, single displacement, and double displacement reactions. Synthesis, or sometimes called combination reactions, happens when a given compound is formed from simpler materials. In many cases, synthesis reactions start with pure elements. Oppositely, a decomposition reaction occurs when a compound breaks down into simpler compounds. A displacement reaction involves the exchange of anions, and can be single displacement -which exchanges only one set of anions- or double displacement, in which both associations are reversed. ...read more.


A piece of magnesium ribbon was dropped into the test tube containing the hydrochloric acid. After the reaction occurred, the tubes containing gas were stoppered, and removed out of the water in the same inverted position. For Reaction E, which displays a synthesis reaction, a burning splint was brought to the mouth of the gas-filled test tube. Finally, Reaction F, a double displacement reaction, involved the mixture of hydrochloric acid and silver nitrate. Results and Observations Table 1. Results of Chemical Reactions Reaction Result of Reaction A Heated magnesium gave off bright light that seemed to flicker. B Club soda is shaken to allow CO2 gas to escape. C Cloud-like precipitation appears in the calcium hydroxide, resembling bubbles. D Magnesium is "burned" in HCl, transforming into a gas, and transferred into the test tube. E Hydrogen mixed with oxygen resulted in water. Audible "popping" sound occurred. F Silver nitrate is poured into HCl, which resulted in a white precipitate forming. Table 2. Word Equations for Reactions Reaction Type of Reaction Word Equation A Synthesis Magnesium + Oxygen -->(with heat) ...read more.


A reaction can range from a simple combination of water oxygen to a complex formula involving unstable substances -the constant in these experiments is that the reaction occurs because the make-up of the substance is changed. From this, I can not only understand better the constant reactions that occur around me at every second of my life; I can evaluate them and realize why they happen. Questions What type or types of reactions cannot involve a free element as a reactant? Why? A double displacement reaction cannot involve a free element as a reactant. In a double displacement reaction, both products are reversed, which closes the possibility of a free element being a reactant. Using oxygen, hydrogen, and water, write balanced equations to demonstrate that decomposition is the reverse of synthesis. Synthesis: 2H2 + O2 --> 2H2O Decomposition: 2H2O --> 2H2 + O2 In the synthesis reaction, the hydrogen and oxygen are combined to form H2O, or water. Oppositely, this water can be broken down from H2O to hydrogen and oxygen. How do single displacement reactions differ from double displacement reactions? A single displacement reaction involves the replacement of only one product in the equation. However, double displacement reactions involve a transaction of two sets of products. ...read more.

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This is a very good set of experiments with an in depth method used to highlight particular types of reactions. It is written in an easy to understand way, however does not contain a diagram for the method, which is quite long. It ends with some useful questions and answers. There are a few basic mistakes throughout the piece which have been corrected by the marker.

Overall, this piece of work is 4 stars out of 5.

Marked by teacher Brady Smith 10/04/2013

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