Chemical reaction Definition and 14 Discussions

A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical reactions encompass changes that only involve the positions of electrons in the forming and breaking of chemical bonds between atoms, with no change to the nuclei (no change to the elements present), and can often be described by a chemical equation. Nuclear chemistry is a sub-discipline of chemistry that involves the chemical reactions of unstable and radioactive elements where both electronic and nuclear changes can occur.
The substance (or substances) initially involved in a chemical reaction are called reactants or reagents. Chemical reactions are usually characterized by a chemical change, and they yield one or more products, which usually have properties different from the reactants. Reactions often consist of a sequence of individual sub-steps, the so-called elementary reactions, and the information on the precise course of action is part of the reaction mechanism. Chemical reactions are described with chemical equations, which symbolically present the starting materials, end products, and sometimes intermediate products and reaction conditions.
Chemical reactions happen at a characteristic reaction rate at a given temperature and chemical concentration. Typically, reaction rates increase with increasing temperature because there is more thermal energy available to reach the activation energy necessary for breaking bonds between atoms.
Reactions may proceed in the forward or reverse direction until they go to completion or reach equilibrium. Reactions that proceed in the forward direction to approach equilibrium are often described as spontaneous, requiring no input of free energy to go forward. Non-spontaneous reactions require input of free energy to go forward (examples include charging a battery by applying an external electrical power source, or photosynthesis driven by absorption of electromagnetic radiation in the form of sunlight).
A reaction may be classified as redox in which oxidation and reduction occur or nonredox in which there is no oxidation and reduction occurring. Most simple redox reactions may be classified as combination, decomposition, or single displacement reactions.
Different chemical reactions are used during chemical synthesis in order to obtain a desired product. In biochemistry, a consecutive series of chemical reactions (where the product of one reaction is the reactant of the next reaction) form metabolic pathways. These reactions are often catalyzed by protein enzymes. Enzymes increase the rates of biochemical reactions, so that metabolic syntheses and decompositions impossible under ordinary conditions can occur at the temperatures and concentrations present within a cell.
The general concept of a chemical reaction has been extended to reactions between entities smaller than atoms, including nuclear reactions, radioactive decays, and reactions between elementary particles, as described by quantum field theory.

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  1. somasimple

    Energy of a chemical reaction

    Hi all, Is this energy equation of any meaning if there is no chemical reaction $$\triangle G= RT ln \frac{C_1}{C_2}$$ in compartments with concentrations $$C_1 \ and \ C_2$$ Thanks.
  2. Rahulx084

    Chemical reaction engineering

    What is the definition of rate ##(-r_a)=-\frac{dCa}{dt}## or ##(-r_a)=-1/V\frac{dNa}{dt}## ? I think the general one is the second one and first one is for constant volume reaction system. Is the above written rate equation only valid to batch reactor? If not can we use this in a PFR or MFR? In...
  3. Adesh

    How can I understand a chemical reaction?

    I’m a high school student, I generally get problem in chemical reactions. I understand all physical and chemical properties of a compound, for example carboxylic acid have all the acidic property and aldehydes are highly polar. But the problem comes in chemical reactions like shift of positive...
  4. A

    1st law of thermodynamics with chemical reaction?

    ##dU = dw + dq ## vs ##dU = dw + dq + µdN## Which equation do we apply to a closed system involving chemical reaction? According to textbooks, the first equation holds for any closed system in the absence of fields and kinetic energy. However, later chapters use the second equation for...
  5. J

    Water sometimes drips from the exhaust of a running car....

    Homework Statement You may have noticed that water sometimes drips from the exhaust of a car as it is running. Is this evidence that there is at least a small amount of water originally present in the gasoline? Homework Equations not sure if there is one. The Attempt at a Solution I'm not...
  6. B

    Combustion of Toluene with 30% excess air (Himmelblau)

    Homework Statement Toluene, C7H8, is burned with 30% excess air. A bad burner cause 15% of the carbon to form soot (pure C) deposited on the walls of the furnace, what is the Orsat analysis of the gases leaving the furnace? Homework Equations C7H8 + 9 O2 => 7 CO2 + 4 H2O 30% excess of air...
  7. I

    Do exactly the same chemicals react with each other

    Not sure if this is well know but for some reason, I don't know if exactly same chemicals make chemical reactions with one another and if yes, how common that is?
  8. N

    Is there any chemical reaction with 0 time?

    One that occurs immediatly?
  9. Comeback City

    Sodium Fluoride Reaction

    I have been reading about how NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) reacting with HF (Hydrofluoric Acid) yields the products H20 (Water) and NaF (Sodium Fluoride). If I were to do this, would I need the EXACT same quantity of NaOH as HF to get H20 and NaF?
  10. Stephanus

    Wolfram Alpha for Chemistry

    Dear PF Forum, Do anybody know the 'Wolfram Alpha' for chemistry? For example. If I enter: HCl + NaOH The website will produce something like HCl + NaOH -> NaCl + H2O (+ or - energy would be preferable) or if I enter: C6H12O6 + O2 The website will produce something like: Do you mean: C6H12O6 +...
  11. MexChemE

    Diffusion -- Tarnishing of metal surfaces

    Homework Statement Problem 18B.13 from Transport Phenomena, BSL. Tarnishing of metal surfaces. In the oxidation of most metals the volume of oxide produced is greater than that of the metal consumed. This oxide thus tends to form a compact film, effectively insulating the oxygen and metal from...
  12. MexChemE

    Pyrite roasting -- Mass balance with chemical reaction

    Homework Statement A certain pyrite ore contains 85% of FeS2 and 15% of inerts. This ore is introduced into a roasting furnace with 20% excess air, in order to oxidize the FeS2 in the reaction: \textrm{FeS}_2 + \frac{11}{4}\textrm{O}_2 \rightarrow \frac{1}{2}\textrm{Fe}_2 \textrm{O}_3 +...
  13. T

    Chemical formulas

    This is a very basic question. When I see a chemical formula, like for example combustion of methane: $CH_4+2O_2->CO_2+2H_20$ and I compute the standard enthalpy of reaction $H_r$, do I have always to think about this value $H$ and about the chemical reaction as describing a "certain amount"...
  14. MexChemE

    Enthelpy balance equation

    Hello PF! I have a very short question. We're currently doing enthalpy balances for chemical reactions in our Thermo class. We are using the simple enthalpy balance equation: \Delta H_{\textrm{Reaction}}^0 = \sum \Delta H_{\textrm{Products}}^0 - \sum \Delta H_{\textrm{Reactants}}^0 My question...