Explanation, Properties, FAQs and Examples of Chemical Change

Chemical changes are when material changes into another new material with an entirely different property. However, a chemical change occurs when a substance comes in combination with another substance and forms a new product.

It could either synthesize or decompose to form a new substance. It could also split a material to change into more than one new substance.

A chemical change is usually irreversible and can be reversed only by another chemical reaction.

Here are the chemical changes that happen in our day-to-day lives.

Chemical changes occur all the time. Some examples include:

  • Boiling an egg
  • Burning of log and paper
  • Food digestion
  • Metal electroplating
  • Milk turning sour
  • Baking a cake
  • Waste decomposition
  • Fireworks explosion
  • Lighting a matchstick
  • A reaction between acid and salt

Chemical Change Properties

Every chemicals change will have a chemical reaction. This is what causes a change in the chemical bond of the original substance.

A chemical reaction will create a new chemical substance or several new chemical substances which occur with one or more reactants. The new product has a new chemical as well as physical property than the reactant.

Here are the characteristics that you would notice in a chemical change.

  • Production of light, heat, and sound
  • Production of gas that is not present in the reactant
  • Permanent color change
  • Precipitate production
  • Density change
  • Temperature change

A single reaction does not suffice to let you know if it is a chemical change and not just a physical change. There have to be several characteristics to confirm that it is a chemical change.

Types of chemical changes

Chemical changes are of three kinds. These are organic, inorganic, and biochemical chemical changes.

1. Organic reactions

Organic compounds are complex compounds made of carbon-containing one or more atoms linked covalently to the atoms of other elements. Some examples are:

Burning of natural gas:

This is a combustion reaction. Natural gas combusts the methane gas, and when methane and oxygen react with the oxygen present in the atmosphere, it produces carbon dioxide and water.

Fruits ripening:

There are a series of chemical changes that happen when the fruit ripens. Fruits contain ethylene. The ethylene production increases when the fruit is damaged or when it is plucked. This produces new enzymes which react with the chemicals that are present in the fruit.

The fruit thus becomes soft and juicy. The exterior color of the skin changes because of the breaking down of chlorophyll, and aroma is emitted from the ripe fruit.

2. Inorganic reactions

Chemical changes in inorganic compounds happen when there is a reaction between the element and compound without the involvement of carbon atoms. Some examples are:

Steel formation:

Steel is formed when other materials are added to iron in a definite quantity. This forms new substances with properties that are different from iron.

Firework lighting:

Firework has metal nitrates and thus burns the compounds. When you light a firework, it causes combustion, forming a new substance that emits light and heat.

 3. Biochemical reactions

Biochemical changes deal with the growth and activity of various living organisms. Photosynthesis is an example of a biochemical change. It is a process that plants use to convert light energy into chemical energy.

This chemical process occurs in plants, and the reaction causes the plants to convert carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and sugar.

Examples of chemical changes

  • You have an unwanted piece of paper in your hand. You decide to burn it off or decide to make a paper plane out of it. The former is a chemical reaction, and the latter is a physical reaction.
  • Burning causes a chemical change, and once you burn the paper, you destroy the paper. Whatever you may do, you cannot get back the original paper.
  • When there is an explosion, it causes a combustion reaction that will produce light, heat, sound, change in color, and temperature change. When oxygen and fuel react, it changes to water and carbon dioxide and releases energy. This is a combustion reaction which is a chemical change.
  • A chemical change transforms the elements permanently. The substance that is produced is different. The product of a chemical change will not share either the original substance’s physical or chemical property.
  • We know that iron is magnetic, but when synthesized with sulfur, it produces iron sulfide, which is not magnetic. The chemical changes are a one-way change where the old substance transforms to make something new.

FAQs – Chemical change

Q1. Give an example of a chemical change

A chemical change causes a chemical transition, and a physical change causes a change in the structure of the matter without changing the chemical identity of the substance. Cooking, burning, rotting, and rusting are examples of chemical changes.

Q2. How will you know if it is a chemical change?

If you notice these chemical transition conditions, then it confirms that it is a chemical change. This includes gas formation, color change, smell change, precipitate formation, and temperature change.

Q3. Souring of milk – Is it a chemical change?

A chemical change causes a molecular level change that can’t be reversed. It creates a new substance. Souring milk produces new molecules, and it is thus a chemical change that cannot be reversed.

Q4. What are the properties of a chemical change?

A chemical change causes a change of one matter type into another. Toxicity, flammability, reactivity, and combustion of heat are the properties of chemical changes.

Conclusion

Chemical changes could occur because of combination or synthesis, a single replacement or a double replacement equation, decomposition, combustion, oxidation or reduction, neutralization, and precipitation.

A chemical change can happen quickly, like in the case of combustion. It can also occur slowly, like in the case of rusting of iron or your own body growing from a toddler to an adult.

A physical change alters the size, shape, and state of the original substance. It does not alter its chemical composition.

On the other hand, a chemical change makes a completely new product with absolutely different physical and chemical properties.

Team BR

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Team BR

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