Best Examples Of Chemical Phenomena In Everyday Life

Chemical phenomena ( or chemical reactions ) are those phenomena in which changes occur in matter, and new substances called “products” are formed, and others called “reactants” are decomposed. For example: wood rot, paper combustion, composting .

Chemical reactions can be spontaneous (reactions that occur without the need for energy or catalysts) or non-spontaneous (reactions that require energy, catalysts, or some external intervention for them to occur). Many times, for a reaction to occur, it is necessary for the reactants to have a specific temperature , a certain pH , an established pressure value, etc.

It can also be critical to control the rate at which chemical reactions occur. Catalysts are substances that are added to a chemical reaction to increase its speed , while inhibitors are substances that slow down the speed of chemical reactions. Other factors that affect the rate of a chemical reaction are temperature, pressure, concentration of the reactants, and the nature of the reaction.

Types of chemical phenomena

Chemical reactions can be:

Inorganic reactions . Inorganic compounds are involved and can be classified according to:

  • The direction in which the reaction occurs.
    • Reversible reactions . They occur in both directions, so the products can decompose and form the reactants again.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Irreversible reactions . They only happen in one sense.
      Chemical phenomena
  • The type of particle that reacts.
    • Acid-base reactions . Transfer of H + ions occurs .
      Chemical phenomena
    • Oxidation-reduction reactions . One of the reactants is oxidized (its oxidation number increases ), while the other is reduced (its oxidation number decreases). In these reactions, electron transfer occurs.
      Chemical phenomena
  • The reaction speed.
    • Quick reactions . They happen in a very short time.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Slow reactions . They take a long time to complete.
      Chemical phenomena
  • The form of the energy it emits or absorbs.
    • Exothermic reactions . When this occurs, they release heat.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Endothermic reactions . When they occur, they absorb heat.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Exoluminous reactions . When they occur, they emit light.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Endoluminous reactions . To occur, they need light.
      Chemical phenomena
  • The type of transformation.
    • Synthesis or addition reactions . Two substances combine to form a new substance.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Decomposition reactions . One or more substances are broken down into their simplest constituents.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Displacement or substitution reactions . One element or compound replaces another in a compound, freeing it.
      Chemical phenomena
    • Double substitution reactions . Two compounds exchange elements or compounds at the same time.
      Chemical phenomena

Organic reactions . They are reactions in which organic compounds intervene. They have many classifications based on the type of organic compound that reacts and the type of reaction it undergoes. Some examples are:

  • Halogenation of alkanes . A hydrogen of an alkane is replaced by a halogen.
    Chemical phenomena
  • Combustion of alkanes . An alkane reacts with oxygen to generate carbon dioxide and water, if combustion is complete.
    Chemical phenomena
  • Halogenation of alkenes . One or both hydrogens of the carbons that are involved in the double bond are replaced by halogens.
    Chemical phenomena
  • Hydrogenation of alkenes . Hydrogens are added to the carbons involved in the double bond to form the corresponding alkane.
    Chemical phenomena

Importance of chemical phenomena

Many chemical phenomena sustain the life of living beings, such as digestion in humans and animals , photosynthesis in plants , and respiration in both.

Another very important chemical process, especially in the life of microorganisms , is fermentation , which is usually used in the manufacture of foods such as cheeses, yogurts, wines and beers.

All growth and development of a living being involves chemical reactions that occur in it, sometimes stimulated by certain environmental conditions.

Best Examples of chemical phenomena

Around us there are numerous cases of chemical phenomena or processes that include:

  1. wood rot
  2. Paper burning
  3. Antibiotic resistance of bacteria
  4. Milk that turns sour
  5. Disinfection of a wound with alcohol
  6. Using fruit salt to combat heartburn
  7. Burning of a candle
  8. Blood clotting
  9. Muscle fatigue after intense exercise
  10. Insect death from insecticides
  11. Obtaining Roquefort cheese
  12. Obtaining cider
  13. Getting yogurt
  14. Composting
  15. Ensilage
  16. Obtaining bioethanol from molasses
  17. Swollen cans
  18. Rotten egg
  19. Rusting of a fence
  20. Obtaining biodiesel from palm oil

Chemical phenomena in industry

Certain chemical phenomena are also key in the industry . To begin with, the combustion of hydrocarbons (such as gasoline, diesel oil or kerosene) produces energy to operate the machinery that handles countless industrial processes.

On the other hand, the steel, paper, plastics, construction materials, paints, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, etc. industries are based on various chemical phenomena such as galvanization, electrolysis and many others.

The generation of new energy sources (such as biodiesel and bioethanol) is also based on this type of phenomenon.

The transformation of energy

In chemical phenomena it is common for there to be energy transformation . For example, when the chemical energy contained in the bonds of a certain molecule is transformed into electrical energy or released as heat (this occurs in exothermic phenomena, such as when hydrochloric acid is mixed with zinc), there is an energy transformation. The same thing happens when light energy is captured and transformed into chemical energy.

Some chemical processes need heat to carry out and are called “endothermic.” Others require the presence of catalysts or cofactors.

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