Hydrogen peroxide (#H_2O_2#) breaks down into water (#H_2O#) and oxygen (#O_2#). Explain why this is a chemical reaction. What are the reactants and the products in the reaction?

1 Answer
Oct 1, 2016

Answer:

Chemical change is characterized by the formation of new products and the making and breaking strong chemical bonds.

Explanation:

We need a chemical equation:

#H_2O_2(aq) rarr H_2O(aq) + 1/2O_2(g)uarr#

Mass and charge are balanced as they must be (why; what do I mean here?). This is in fact a disproportionation reaction because the #O(-I)# in peroxide, has been reduced to water #O(-II)#, and oxidized to zerovalent oxygen gas #O_2(0)#.

At any rate, the decomposition clearly features the breaking of #O-O# bonds, and the formation of #O=O# bonds; this is manifestly a chemical change.