Decomposition Reaction Types Definition and Examples

Decomposition Reaction With Examples

Reaction includes reactant, favorable condition and results in products. There are different types of chemical reactions that we had studied earlier and among those Decomposition reaction was one of them. There are several other types of decompostion reaction also. Today in this post, we are going to learn decomposition reaction definition and what are the types of decomposition reaction. We will also see different application of chemical reaction. No without wasting more time, lets get jump into the definition.

What is Decomposition Reaction

In a reaction in which, one compound breaks down into two or more simpler compounds. This reaction can also be known as the opposite of a composition reaction. In other words, it can also be considered as a reaction in which reactants on providing activation energy breaks down /decomposed to products.

Example of Decomposition Reaction

H2CO3 (aq.) → CO2 (g) + H2O (l)

This is an example of decomposition reaction in which carbonic acid (H2CO3) is breakdown into carbon dioxide and water. Here carbonic acid (H2CO3) is a reactant and on decomposition, it results in product Carbon dioxide and water.
Read additional examples at Wikipedia

Double Decomposition Reaction

A reaction in which two-component decompose and interchange position and form a new compound known as a double decomposition reaction. Component change position where positive ion change position with positive and negative with negative ion.

AB + CD → AC + BD

Types of decomposition reaction

There are total of 3 types of decomposition reactions are there and these types are based on the mode of energy required to the completion of process. Types of are enlisted along with explanation and examples.

  1. Thermal decomposition reaction | Thermolysis
  2. Electrolytic decomposition reaction | Electrolysis
  3. Photo decomposition reaction | Photolysis
decomposition reaction types

Now let us understand all the types of one by one in details with examples

1. Thermal decomposition reaction

Thermal means heat and decomposition mean break down of substances. Thermal decomposition reaction is a types of reaction in which reactant decomposed which heated. When heat is supplied to the reactant, chemical bonds break and this results in breakdown of reactant into product. Thermal decomposition reaction is also known as thermolysis. These reactions are the endothermic type of reaction as it requires external heat for reaction.

Thermal Decomposition reaction examples

CaCO3 → CaO + CO2

In the above reaction, calcium carbonate when heated for thermal decomposition, calcium oxide along with carbon dioxide will produce.

2. Electrolytic decomposition reaction

A chemical reaction in which, electricity is passed through the aqueous solution of the reactant, electrolytic reaction occures and result in breakdown of reactant into the product is known as an electrolytic reaction. This reaction is also known as the electrolysis reaction.

electrolytic decomposition reaction

Electrolysis of H2O (Water)

 H2O → H2 + O2

In above reaction, when electric charge is passed in the water, electrolysis of water occurs and oxygen and Hydrogen is produced.

Electrolysis of NaCl (Sodium Chloride)

NaCl → Na + Cl

Decomposition reaction of sodium chloride will occur when electricity is passed to the aqueous solution of sodium chlorine (NaCl), sodium and chlorine will form. We had discussed chloralkali process in which electrolysis reaction in used.

3. Photo decomposition reaction | Photolysis

In this type of reaction, light or photons are use to break down the reactants into several products. The decomposition reaction takes place due to action of light is knows as photo decomposition reaction. This reactions are also known as photolysis. In these reaction, absorption of light excites electon and results in breaking of bonds and creates products.

Photolysis reaction example

2AgCl → 2Ag + Cl2

Above reaction is an example of photolysis reaction example in which, Silver chloride decompose in presence of light and form silver metal along with chlorine.

Applications of Decomposition Reactions?

These reactions are widely used in the manufacturing of various products. Electrolysis is a process in which an electrolytic type of decompostion is used. In Chloro -Alkali industries, electrolysis of brine i.e. NaCL is performed for the preparation of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and along with caustic, Hydrogen, chlorine are also produced. Here are some of the uses

  1. In chloro-Alkali industries
  2. To extract metals from ores

FAQ (Frequently asked question)

Wrapping Up

These were the detailed article on what is decomposition reaction definition and types of decomposition. There are several application of reaction and are widely use in chemical industries for manufacturing of products. If you are interested in chemical engineering or chemistry then do check our other article like types of chemical reaction where we had discussed several reaction types with examples. You can also check types of reactors used in industries and their application. Download our official android app to stay updated with chemical engineering articles and Industrial safety topics also.

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Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

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