What are chemical process in which larger compounds are broken down into their monomers using water to break the bonds?

1 Answer
Mar 31, 2017

Answer:

This is known as hydrolysis, which literally means "to take apart with water".

Explanation:

It is often not the water that causes the molecules to break apart. This is usually carried out by some other factor such as a catalyst (enzymes for example) or a strong mineral acid.

However, once the molecules has been broken up, the unbonded "ends" of the fragments are completed by adding a H atom to one and OH to the other.

This is especially common in organic chemistry. An example would be an ester being broken into an alcohol and organic acid:

files.mtstatic.com/site_4334/13436/0

This process is used for example to break proteins into amino acids, to synthesize vitamin A from beta-carotene, in the digestion of sugars and breaking down of fats during digestion, so lots of biochemical applications.

Have a look at this site for a quite detailed example:
http://chemguide.co.uk/physical/catalysis/hydrolyse.html