What are some examples of chemical reactions?

1 Answer
Jul 24, 2014

Chemical reaction, a process in which one or more substances, the reactants, are converted to one or more different substances, the products. Substances are either chemical elements or compounds.

Example : Burning of wood.

Burning wood is an example of a chemical reaction in which wood in the presence of heat and oxygen is transformed into carbon dioxide, water vapor, and ash.

Here's the sequence of events in a typical wood fire:

Something heats the wood to a very high temperature. The heat can come from lots of different things -- a match, focused light, friction, lightning, something else that is already burning...

When the wood reaches about 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius), the heat breaks some of the cellulose material that makes up the wood.

Some of the decomposed material is released as volatile gases. We know these gases as smoke. Smoke is compounds of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. The rest of the material forms char, which is nearly pure carbon, and ash, which is all of the unburnable minerals in the wood (calcium, potassium, and so on). The char is what you buy when you buy charcoal. Charcoal is wood that has been heated to remove nearly all of the volatile gases and leave behind the carbon. That is why a charcoal fire burns with no smoke.

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