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Decomposition and Combination Reactions

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Types of Reactions

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Lesson Focus

Decomposition and Combination Reactions


Learning Made Easy

You will get to know the major kinds of chemical reactions including polymerization, hydrolysis, combustion, replacements, and redox. Experiment with some electrochemical reactions as well.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define a decomposition reaction.
  • Define a combination reaction.
  • Distinguish between decomposition and combination reactions.

Everything You'll Have Covered

How is an airbag able to inflate so quickly after impact during a car accident?

~ When impact occurs during to a car accident, a sensor recognizes that there has been an accident, and the system becomes active. When the system becomes active, the decomposition of sodium azide into sodium and nitrogen gases takes place.

What is the difference between a decomposition and a synthesis, or combination, reaction? Describe what happens during each type of reaction.

~ Decomposition reactions and synthesis, or combination, reactions are opposite reactions. During a decomposition reaction, a compound is broken down into two or more smaller substances. When a car is in an accident and there is an impact, sodium azide is broken down into nitrogen gases, causing the airbag to inflate. A decomposition reaction occurs. During a synthesis reaction, two or more substances combine to form a more complex substance. For example, sulphur combines with oxygen gas to produce sulphur dioxide and a more complex substance. A synthesis reaction has occurred.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should have a general understanding of the following terms: airbag, chemistry, and combination reactions.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary airbag, chemistry, combination reactions