Types of Chemical Reactions

By: Michael McInroy

Synthesis

Definition: A reaction in which two or more substances react to form a single substance.

Equation: A + B -------> AB

Examples: 2Na + Cl2 --------> 2NaCl, 2H2 + O2 -------> 2H2O

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Decomposition

Definition: A reaction in which a compound breaks down into two or more simpler substances.

Equation: AB --------> A + B

Examples: 2H2O --------> 2H2 + O2, CaCO3 ---------> CaO + CO2

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Single-Replacement

Definition: A reaction in which one element takes the place of another element in a compound.

Equation: A + BC ---------> B + AC

Examples: Cu + 2AgNO3 ----------> 2Ag + Cu(NO3)2, 2K + 2H2O ----------> H2 + 2KOH

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Double-Replacement

Definition: One in which two different compounds exchange positive ions and form two new compounds.

Equation: AB + CD --------> AD + CB

Examples: Pb(NO3)2 + 2KI --------> PbI2 + 2KNO3

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Combustion

Definition: One in which a substance reacts rapidly with oxygen, often producing heat and light.

Equation: AB + C --------> AB + CD

Examples: CH4 + 2O2 -------> CO2 + 2H2O

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