Chemical Reactions in Daily Life: Does science seem like the most interesting subject to you? You’re always curious about scientific developments, and Sci-Fi is your favorite movie genre. Did you know? Hundreds of chemical reactions take place in our everyday lives.
You might have often witnessed many chemical reactions but they happen to take place so often that they have become a part of your everyday life. For example, a layer of brown color forms on things made with iron, or crackers that produce bright colorful lights and sounds when they’re burnt. What’s responsible for the formation of a rainbow? How are rain and rainbows related to each other? In this article, we will talk about chemical processes that take place in our daily lives.
How to Recognize a Chemical Reaction
The first step to identifying chemical reactions around you solely depends on being aware of when a reaction is taking place. Not every change in any matter makes it a chemical reaction. For example, many things may change in size or shape, like melting ice, dissolving sugar or salt in water, or treating a sheet into small pieces, these are only physical changes and do not change their chemical composition or identity. Below we have listed a few signs that tell if a chemical reaction is taking place. If there is more than one sign, it is more likely that a chemical reaction has occurred:
- Change in temperature
- Change in color
- Sudden change in odor
- Bubbling or gas production
- Formation of solid when liquids are mixed
Here are 10 Chemical Reactions That Take Place In Our Everyday Lives
Rusting is the process of oxidation, which is the result of a reaction that takes place because of oxygen. It gives a flaky brown layer that gathers over iron surfaces, this layer is formed due to the oxidization of the topmost layer, leading to the formation of metal oxide. It is just not with iron but these layers forms on other metals as well, like copper, silver, and gold.
Fe + 3O₂ + xH₂O → Fe₃O₄ . xH₂O
Did you know? Every time we eat something, a chemical reaction is simultaneously taking place to digest it. Digestion is also a complex process, in which thousands of chemical reactions take place. For example, when you eat something, the water and enzyme named amylase breaks down carbohydrates and sugar into simple molecules. Enzymes and hydrochloric acid, which is present in your stomach breaks down the proteins, meanwhile sodium bicarbonate is released into the small intestine for neutralizing the acid and protecting the digestive tract. The digestive system of animals works the same way.
You all might already be familiar with the term photosynthesis, it is widely discussed in science textbooks under the biology section. Just like humans, several chemical reactions take place in plants as well, a chemical reaction called photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide and water into plant food – glucose, and oxygen. It is one of the major chemical reactions as it leads to the generation of oxygen and provides food for both plants and animals.
6 CO2 + 6 H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6 O2
4. Detergent and Soap Reactions
If you’re thinking that just washing your hands with water counts as a chemical reaction, then you’re probably wrong. Because you are just technically rinsing away dirt. When you apply detergent or soap, the chemical reaction is responsible for emulsifying grease and lowering surface tension, so that you can easily remove the dirt. Most reactions occur in dishwashing or laundry detergents as they contain certain enzymes that break proteins and whiteners to prevent clothes from looking dirty.
5. Aerobic Cellular Respiration
In this animals use oxygen, which is provided by plants for performing reverse reactions of photosynthesis so that the cells receive energy. Aerobic respiration creates a chemical reaction between oxygen and glucose to form water and chemical energy in the form of ATP, adenosine triphosphate.
C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy (36 ATP)
6. Anaerobic Cellular Respiration
Organisms have their ways of getting energy without oxygen. Anaerobic respiration mainly occurs without oxygen, it releases less energy than aerobic respiration. If anaerobic respiration takes place in microorganisms, it is known as fermentation. Bacteria and yeast use anaerobic respiration to make everyday products like vinegar, wine, yogurt, cheese, bread, and beer.
C6H12O6 → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2 + energy
7. Acid-Base Reactions
Acid-Base reactions usually occur when you mix an acid (vinegar, lemon juice, battery acid, muriatic acid, or carbonic acid (from carbonated drinks) with any base like ammonia, baking soda, and lye. The best example of this is the reaction between vinegar and baking soda to form water, sodium acetate, and carbon dioxide gas.
NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 → NaC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2
We hope you enjoyed this blog, we will keep you updated with more interesting facts and the chemical reaction that takes place around us. You can also check out our chemistry and biology pages for NCERT solutions of your science textbooks.