Hello there, I hope you’re doing well. Previously, we discussed chemical reactions. In this blog, you’ll read about the types of chemical reactions with examples. Moreover, you’ll also get to know about ‘additional types of chemical reactions with examples’.

What is a chemical reaction?

A chemical reaction is a process generally characterized by a chemical change in which the starting materials (reactants) are different from the products. Chemical reactions tend to involve the motion of electrons, leading to the formation and breaking of chemical bonds. There are several different types of chemical reactions and more than one way of classifying them. Here are some common reaction types:

Types of chemical reactions with examples

1. Combustion Reaction

A combustion reaction is a reaction with a combustible material with an oxidizer to give an oxidized product. An oxidizer is a chemical a fuel requires to burn, generally oxygen. Consider the example of the combustion of magnesium metal.

2Mg+O2 2MgO+Heat

Here, 2 magnesium atoms react with a molecule of oxygen-producing 2 molecules of the compound magnesium oxide-releasing some heat in the process.

Moreover, this is an exothermic reaction that generally releases energy in the form of heat. This is the reaction between the fuel and the oxidizer (usual oxygen in the atmosphere). As a result, it typically produces smoke, water, and heat. For example, burning methane produces carbon dioxide and water.

CH4+ 2O2 CO2+ 2H2O

2. Chemical Decomposition or Analysis Reaction

Chiefly, a Decomposition reaction is a reaction in which a single component breaks down into multiple products. Certain changes in energy in the environment have to be made like heat, light or electricity breaking bonds of the compound. Consider the example of the decomposition of calcium carbonate giving out CaO (Quick Lime) which is a major component of cement.

 CaCO3(g)  Heat →  CaO(s)+CO2(g)

Here, the compound Calcium carbonate when heated breaks down into Calcium Oxide and Carbon

3. Neutralization Reaction

Generally, a Neutralization reaction is basically the reaction between an acid and a base giving salt and water as the products. The water molecule formed is by the combination of OH– ions and H+ ions. The overall pH of the products when a strong acid and a strong base undergo a neutralization reaction will be 7. Consider the example of the neutralization reaction between Hydrochloric acid and Sodium Hydroxide giving out sodium chloride(Common Salt) and water.

HCl+NaOH NaCl+ H2O

4. Oxidation-Reduction or Redox Reaction

Significantly, a Reduction-Oxidation reaction is a reaction in which there is a transfer of electrons between chemical species. Let us consider the example of an electrochemical cell-like redox reaction between Zinc and Hydrogen.

Zn +2H+ Zn2++H2

Here, A Zinc atom reacts with 2 ions of positively charged hydrogen to which electrons get transferred from the zinc atom and hydrogen becomes a stable molecule and the Zinc ion is the product.

5. Metathesis or Double Displacement Reaction

It is a type of displacement reaction in which two compounds react and consequently, their anions and cations switch places forming two new products. Consider the example of the reaction between both silver nitrate and sodium chloride. The products will be silver chloride and sodium nitrate after the double-displacement reaction.

AgNO3+NaCl AgCl+NaNO3

 Reactions – KNO3+ AlCl3 ↔️ Al (NO3) 3 + KCl

6. Direct Combination or Synthesis Reaction

Basically, a Synthesis reaction is one of the most basic types of reaction wherein multiple simple compounds combine under certain physical conditions giving out a complex product. Identically, the product will always be a compound. Eventually, let us consider the Synthesis reaction of sodium chloride with reactants solid sodium and chloride gas.

2Na(s)+Cl2(g) 2NaCl(s)

Here, we have 2 Atoms of solid Sodium reacting with Chlorine gas giving out Sodium Chloride viz. Common Salt as the product.

7. Simple Substitution Reactions

Particularly, the more reactive metal replaces the less reactive metal from the salt. Likewise, the product can be determined by the reactive sequence. Similarly, the reactive series is a series in which the elements are arranged in descending order of reactivity.  Both potassium and magnesium chloride are the examples of simple substitution reactions. In this reaction, potassium is more reactive than magnesium, so potassium replaces magnesium with its salt. Certainly, Potassium is at the top of the reactive series and is the most reactive element.

Reactions – 2K + MgCl2 2KCl + Mg

  • Single Displacement or Substitution Reaction

A substitution or single displacement reaction is characterized by one element being displaced from a compound by another element.
An example of a substitution reaction occurs when zinc combines with hydrochloric acid. The zinc replaces the hydrogen:
Zn + 2 HCl ZnCl2 + H2

Additional types of chemical reactions
with examples

  • Acid-Base Reaction

Significantly, an acid-base reaction is a type of double displacement reaction that occurs between an acid and a base. The H+ ion in the acid reacts with the OH ion in the base to form water and an ionic salt:
Hence, the reaction between hydrobromic acid (HBr) and sodium hydroxide is an example of an acid-base reaction:
HBr + NaOH NaBr + H2O

  • Isomerization

In an isomerization reaction, the structural arrangement of a compound is changed but its net atomic composition remains the same.

  • Hydrolysis Reaction

A hydrolysis reaction involves water. The general form for a hydrolysis reaction is:
X(aq) + H2O(l)  HX(aq) + OH(aq)

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Blog by: Dr. Mukta Jain

Department of Science

Biyani Group of Colleges, Jaipur

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