The chemical reactions we can find in everyday life in general. This is the answer that a chemist could give you without error to exaggerate. For example, when a match burns, a combustion reaction occurs.
And it is that someone eager in this matter will try to see things from the molecular or atomic point of view, will try to see reactions everywhere and molecules constantly transmuting.
People well versed in chemistry cannot help but see things from this point of view, just as a physicist might see things from a nuclear point of view or a biologist from a cellular point of view.
To justify the comment, here are 30 examples of chemistry found in everyday life. They are about rChemical reactions that go unnoticed at home, in the kitchen, in the garden, on the street or even within our own body. I hope with this to give light to the usual and routine that is chemistry in the day to day.
Chemical reactions you see every day in your life
Chemistry in the kitchen
1- Solvation reactions : when salt is dissolved in water, ionic bonds are broken, producing a solvation of cations and anions.
NaCl → Na + + Cl –
Technically a solution of sodium chloride in water is prepared.
2- Phase changes : when water is boiled when cooking or preparing coffee or tea, a phase change occurs between liquid water and carbonated water.
H 2 O (l) → H 2 O (g)
3- Combustion reactions : gas stoves use propane to produce a flame.
C 3 H 8 + 5O 2 → 3CO 2 + 4H 2 O
4- Chlorine : the chlorine used as a detergent is actually sodium chlorite, which is a reducing agent. Stains on clothing are called chromophores and have unsaturations. Chlorine attacks these unsaturations by removing the color from the stains. Technically it does not remove the stain but makes it invisible.
5- Soap : soaps and detergents have a polar part, usually a carboxylic acid , attached to a non-polar aliphatic chain, which gives it the ability to form micelles. These micelles have the ability to surround dirt so that it can be removed from clothes, dishes, and our bodies.
6- Sodium bicarbonate : it is a weak base that when reacting with acid such as vinegar or water (which is slightly acidic) releases carbon dioxide.
NaHCO 3 + CH 3 COOH → CH 3 COONa + H 2 O + CO 2
This compound is the active ingredient in many antacids.
7- Middle term : cooking is a chemical change that alters food to make it tastier, kill dangerous microorganisms and make it more digestible.
The heat of cooking can denature proteins, promote chemical reactions between ingredients, caramelize sugars, etc.
8- Artificial flavor and color : many processed foods have chemicals that give them a specific flavor or color and help to preserve them.
9- Cry for the onion : the onion contains molecules of amino acids sulfoxides. When the onion is cut, the cell walls are broken, releasing these sulfoxides together with enzymes that break it down to sulfenic acids, an organosulfuric compound with the formula R-SOH that is irritating to the eyes.
Chemistry at home
10- Batteries : they use electrodochemical or redox reactions to convert chemical energy into electrical energy. Spontaneous redox reactions occur in galvanic cells, while non-spontaneous chemical reactions take place in electrolytic cells.
11- LCD screens : LCD screen televisions contain helical crystal molecules that have the property of orienting themselves according to an electrical signal and by making them change the tone or color provided by an LED bulb. Each crystal molecule represents a pixel on the TV, the more molecules, the higher the resolution.
12- Old books that smell good : the decomposition of the cellulose of the paper of the books, gives that yellowish color to the leaves and a smell of vanilla. If you have old books that smell good in your library it is due to lignin or vanillin molecules in it.
13- Medicines and drugs : some medicines are molecules that partially block the hormonal activity produced by a certain stimulus (for example, anti-epileptic drugs) while others are enzyme inhibitors, such as analgesics for example.
14- Shampoo : like detergents and soaps, shampoos remove oil from the scalp by forming micelles. The ingredient that takes care of this is usually sulfates such as sodium or ammonium dodecyl sulfate or lauryl ether sulfate.
15- Deodorants and antiperspirants : the bad smell of the armpits, feet and breath is produced by bacteria that feed on the proteins and fats in the sweat that the apocrine glands secrete.
Deodorants have a chemical compound called triclosan that is a powerful antibacterial and fungicide. On the other hand, antiperspirants have aluminum salts that get into the pores and prevent sweating.
16- Cosmetics and makeup : they are chemical substances and pigments that adhere to the skin. They are generally nonpolar compounds like waxes and oils.
Chemistry in the garden
17- Photosynthesis : it is the process by which green plants make their own food. This occurs in the presence of sunlight and other raw materials, namely carbon dioxide and water. The chlorophyll pigment collects light energy from sunlight, which is converted into glucose.
6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + hν → C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2
18- Oxidation Reactions : An oxide coating is often noted on unpainted iron surfaces that gradually leads to disintegration of the iron. This is a chemical phenomenon called oxidation.
In this case, iron combines with oxygen in the presence of water, leading to the formation of iron oxides.
Fe + O 2 + H 2 O → Fe 2 O 3 . XH 2 O
19- Organic decomposition : the decomposition of organic food or even living beings are oxidation reactions produced by bacteria that degrade biochemical macromolecules into simple molecules such as nitrites, nitrates, CO 2 and water.
20- Fertilizers : potassium, nitrates, phosphates and sulfates are used in soils to provide nutrients to plants and they are able to grow.
21- Pesticides : they are chemicals used to fumigate crops or gardens. They are generally neurotoxins that affect bacteria or insects that consume crops.
Chemistry in the street
22- Combustion of gasoline : cars use gasoline as fuel through controlled explosions that move the pistons of the engines.
23- Car smoke : it produces free radicals that are very reactive compounds and attack the skin or hair, making them dry and brittle, not to mention that they are carcinogenic.
24- Acid rain : the excess of sulfur and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere produced by factories and automobiles dissolves in the water in the clouds, producing sulfurous, sulfuric and nitric acid that precipitates in the form of acid rain.
25- Constructions : cement and other materials used in the construction of houses such as paints, plaster and many others are the products of chemistry. In particular, cement is made of calcium hydroxide molecules, also called quicklime.
Chemistry in your body
26- Food digestion: digestion is based on chemical reactions between food and acids and enzymes to break down molecules into nutrients that the body can absorb and use.
27- Aerobic respiration : the main process that produces energy in the body is aerobic glycolysis. Here, respiration helps break down glucose (an energy source) into water, carbon dioxide, and energy in the form of ATP. C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 → 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + Energy (36 ATPs)
28- Anaerobic respiration : due to over-exercise, sometimes our body cells run out of oxygen and breathe anaerobically. This causes the synthesis of lactic acid. Anaerobic respiration is seen in some bacteria, yeast, and other organisms. The anaerobic respiration equation is:
C 6 H 12 O 6 → 2C 3 H 6 O 3 + Energy (2ATP)
29- Muscle movement : the tension or relaxation of the muscles is due to the conformational changes of the skeletal muscle proteins. These changes are produced thanks to phosphocreatine, which by losing a phosphate releases energy for the process.
30- Thought : it is a complex biochemical process where the ionic potential difference creates the electrical impulses of the neurons.
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