# What is a synthesis reaction? How are they used in the real world?

Jan 26, 2017

A synthesis reaction is one in which a single product is made from two or more reactants.

It follows the pattern $A + B \rightarrow C$

#### Explanation:

There are many practical processes that are synthesis reactions.

Here are a couple: ${N}_{2} + 3 {H}_{2} \rightarrow 2 N {H}_{3}$

The Haber process was a Nobel-prize winning advance which demonstrated how to fix atmospheric nitrogen (which is a remarkably stable, unreactive element) into ammonia, which could then be used as a synthetic fertilizer (the first to be produced), but was also a raw material in the manufacture of nitrate compounds that are essential to manufacture of explosives. The Haber process was one of a great many important advances that came about during time of war, to support the war effort - in this case, World War I.

A second example: $C a O + C {O}_{2} \rightarrow C a C {O}_{3}$

Lime (calcium oxide, $C a O$) is mixed into mortar for masonry, to hold bricks together in a structure. Over a period of days, the lime absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, and a reaction occurs in which the two compounds synthesize into calcium carbonate, $C a C {O}_{3}$, a much harder material that greatly enhances the strength of the structure.

So, there are important applications of synthesis reactions!