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Chemical Change Definition

A chemical change is the transition of one substance into another, creating one or more new compounds and new materials with distinct properties. Paper burns to ash when we do so. We are unable to produce paperback from this ash.

The environment undergoes a variety of changes regularly. While some arise spontaneously, others are brought about by human activity. Physical and chemical alterations are the two categories into which these changes can be divided.

Chemical Change Definition

Characteristics of Chemical Change

The following is a list of chemical change's characteristics:

  1. New compounds like carbon dioxide, water vapour, smoke, and ash are generated when a piece of paper is burned with a lit match stick. Therefore, new compounds are created as a result of chemical transformation. This is an example of a chemical change that results in the development one or more new substances.
  2. A chemical alteration is a permanent change. Typically, a chemical alteration cannot be undone. For instance, burning paper results in a change that cannot be undone. This is because the original paper cannot be made by recombining the byproducts of paper burning.
  3. A significant quantity of energy (heat, light, and sound) is either absorbed or emitted during a chemical transformation. A cracker's burning results in a chemical transformation. As a result, chemical changes include energy changes. A cracker's explosion produces sound, heat, and light energy.
  4. A smell may change, or a new scent may be released due to a chemical reaction. Food that has gone bad emits a bad odour. This demonstrates the formation of new compounds in ruined food, which has an unpleasant odour.
  5. A chemical alteration could cause a persistent colour shift. A chemical shift occurs when the fruit ripens. Fruit's colour varies from unripe to ripe as it ages.
  6. A chemical reaction can result in the formation of a gas. When a metal, such as zinc, combines with diluted hydrochloric acid, a chemical change occurs because zinc chloride, a salt, is created, and hydrogen gas is released.

Significance of Chemical Changes

Many types of chemical changes take place in our daily lives. Some are created artificially, while others are natural. Most of them are quite helpful to us. These are a few instances:

  1. Grain is inedible when it is raw, but when it is cooked, a chemical transformation makes it edible.
  2. Several valuable metals, including iron, aluminum, and copper, are separated from their mixed states via chemical processes.
  3. Chemical alterations produce soaps, detergents, paints, fertilizers, medications, and many other products.
  4. It produces a large amount of thermal energy used for home and industrial reasons; therefore, burning fuel results in a major chemical change.
  5. All of the different chemical changes involved in plant and animal life processes contribute to the maintenance of life.
  • As an illustration, during food digestion, enzymes break down our food so that our bodies may absorb it.
  • All living things go through a chemical process called respiration. Living things breathe in oxygen from the air, combining with the food they have digested to produce water, carbon dioxide, and energy. This transformation cannot be undone.
  • Glucose + Oxygen = CO2 + Water + Energy

Some Examples of Chemical Changes

Here are some instances of chemical changes:

  1. To create two new compounds, such as glucose and oxygen gas, plants combine carbon dioxide and water during photosynthesis in the presence of chlorophyll and sunshine. Hence, photosynthesis is a chemical transformation.
  2. The various dietary components break down during digestion to create new compounds that the body may absorb. Thus, digestion involves a chemical change.
  3. Salt and water are created due to the neutralization reaction between an acid and a base. Neutralization is, therefore, a chemical shift.
  4. Animal feces is used in a chemical process to create biogas. This results from creating of novel chemicals from animal feces, such as methane. A biogas plant uses anaerobic bacteria to digest (break down) animal wastes like cow dung to create biogas, which mostly contains methane.
  5. Magnesium ribbon burning: When heated, the metal magnesium burns readily. Magnesium ribbon is a broad, delicate strip of the metal magnesium. We typically use magnesium metal as a magnesium ribbon to carry out tasks. When a magnesium ribbon is heated, magnesium oxide, fine powdered ash, is produced in the air, burning with a dazzling white light. A new substance is created due to the burning of the magnesium ribbon. This magnesium oxide is something completely new. Hence, a chemical shift occurs when the magnesium ribbon burns.
  6. The interaction of vinegar and baking soda: Carbon dioxide gas bubbles and other materials develop when vinegar and baking soda are mixed. It is called a chemical change because carbon dioxide is created as one of the new components due to the reaction between baking soda and vinegar.
  7. Iron and copper sulphate solution interact in the following ways: A chemical reaction occurs when an iron nail is submerged in a blue copper sulphate solution, producing a green iron sulphate solution and a brown copper deposit on the iron nail.

Different Types of Chemical Changes

Inorganic, organic, and biological changes are the three types of chemical changes that chemists distinguish.

  1. Inorganic Chemical changes: It known as inorganic chemical transformations that typically do not involve the element carbon. Acid-base mixtures, oxidation (including combustion), and redox processes are examples of inorganic alterations.
  2. Organic chemical alterations: They are those changes that organic components which contains carbon and hydrogen. Examples include the polymerization, methylation, halogenation, and cracking of crude oil.
  3. Biochemical modifications: These are organic chemical alterations that take place in living things. Enzymes and hormones regulate these processes. Fermentation, the Krebs cycle, nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, and digestion are a few examples of biochemical changes.

Chemical Changes among Organic Compounds

Complex carbon compounds, known as "organic compounds," contain one or more covalently connected carbon atoms to atoms from other elements. Following are some instances of organic compound-related chemical transformation.

  1. Burning of Natural Gas: This is an obvious illustration of a combustion reaction. Methane gas is included in natural gas. Methane and atmospheric oxygen combine to form water and carbon dioxide. As a result, it is a case of chemical alteration.
  2. Ripening of fruits: It involves several adjustments. Fruits are made up of ethylene. Fruit that has been injured or that has been picked produces more ethylene. New enzymes are produced as a result, and these enzymes then interact with the chemical already present in the fruit. Hence, the fruit may experience several alterations. The following modifications are listed below:
    • Fruit ripens and gets juicier and softer.
    • Chlorophyll decomposition alters the colour of the fruit's outer skin.
    • Ripe fruit releases aroma.

Chemical Changes among Inorganic Compounds

Chemical changes involving inorganic compounds involve substances and elements that do not contain carbon atoms. The following lists a few instances of chemical transformation using inorganic substances:

  1. Formation of steel: That is an unstoppable procedure. The basic constituent of steel is carbon, and numerous other elements are added to iron in certain amounts to create steel. This causes the synthesis of new chemicals, which undergoes a chemical change. The newly produced compounds' characteristics differ from those of iron.
  2. Lightning of fireworks: Metal nitrates, which make up fireworks, are burning chemicals. Lighting a firework causes combustion, which results in the development of a new substance and the release of light and heat. As a result, it qualifies as a chemical alteration.

Chemical Change as a Biochemical Change

It concerns the chemistry of activity and the development of living things. Below is an example of a biochemical change:

Plants primarily use the process of photosynthesis to transform light energy into chemical energy. In plants, a chemical reaction takes place. The plants do this by converting the water and carbon dioxide in the air into sugars and oxygen:

Difference Between Physical and Chemical Changes

  1. A new substance can only be created through a chemical change; a physical change does not produce a new substance.
  2. Physical changes are transient, whereas chemical changes are permanent.
  3. In contrast to how physical changes may be undone, chemical changes cannot.
  4. Most heat (or light) energy is absorbed or released during chemical reactions, whereas relatively little heat (or light) energy is absorbed or released during physical changes.

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