Types of Chemical Reactions

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17 February 2009

Types of Chemical Reactions


        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.

Methods and Materials

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        This experiment called for numerous testing, using a variety of different laboratory tools in addition to a few different substances and materials to perform reactions with. The first experiment (Reaction A), which was performed to become familiar with a synthesis reaction, involved the use of magnesium ribbon and heat provided by a laboratory burner. The magnesium ribbon was placed a crucible while the laboratory burner was in use. Forceps were used to hold the magnesium ribbon while the reaction was occurring. The experiments involving the decomposition, single displacement, and double displacement all revolved around the same materials: two test-tubes, a ...

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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.