# What are metathesis reactions?

Dec 14, 2016

A metathesis reaction is a reaction in which cations and anions change partners.

#### Explanation:

A metathesis reaction is a reaction in which cations and anions change partners.

A general equation for a metathesis is $\textcolor{red}{\text{A"color(blue)"X"+color(green)"C"color(purple)"Y}}$$\rightarrow$$\textcolor{red}{\text{A"color(purple)"Y"+color(green)"C"color(blue)"X}}$, where $\textcolor{red}{\text{A}}$ and $\textcolor{g r e e n}{\text{C}}$ are cations, and $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{X" and color(purple)"Y}}$ are anions.

There are three possible products of a metathesis reaction.

A. an insoluble (solid) precipitate

B. water (from neutralization reaction)

C. an insoluble gas that bubbles out of solution

Metathesis reactions are also called double replacement reactions and double displacement reactions.

The following video illustrates a precipitation reaction, an example of a metathesis reaction that forms a precipitate.