Types of Inorganic Chemical Reactions
Elements and compounds react with each other in numerous ways. Memorizing every type of reaction would be challenging and also unncecessary, since nearly every inorganic chemical reaction falls into one or more of four broad categories.
- Combination Reactions
S (s) + O2 (g) --> SO2 (g)
- Decomposition Reactions
2HgO (s) + heat --> 2Hg (l) + O2 (g)
- Single Displacement Reactions
Zn (s) + CuSO4 (aq) --> Cu (s) + ZnSO4 (aq)
Single displacement reactions are often subdivided into more specific categories (e.g., redox reactions).
- Double Displacement Reactions
CaCl2 (aq) + 2 AgNO3 (aq) --> Ca(NO3)2 (aq) + 2 AgCl (s)
A neutralization reaction is a specific type of double displacement reaction that occurs when an acid reacts with a base, producing a solution of salt and water. An example of a neutralization reaction is the reaction of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide to form sodium chloride and water:
HCl (aq) + NaOH (aq) --> NaCl (aq) + H2O (l)
Remember that reactions can be belong to more than one category. Also, it would be possible to present more specific categories, such as combustion reactions or precipitation reactions. Learning the main categories will help you balance equations and predict the types of compounds formed from a chemical reaction.