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Predicting Products of Chemical Reactions

Many changes occurs in our surroundings like burning, rusting, respiration, photosynthesis etc. All changes are associated with the formation of new substances from some old substances. These changes at molecular level. We know that all molecules are made up of atoms. These atoms are bonded with chemical bond in which their valence electrons involve.

The formation of new molecules requires the formation of new chemical bonds and cleavage of old chemical bonds. This is called as chemical reaction.

Chemical reactions are changes in which the chemical composition of substances gets change to form new molecules or compounds. The chemical and physical properties of new substances are different from the substances which reacting during reactions.

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Chemical Reactions and Equations

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The process of combination of different atoms to form different substances is known as chemical reaction. It involves the conversion of substances in such a way that some new substances forms which have different chemical and physical properties.

Chemical reactions can be identifying with various changes such as change in,
  • colour of the substance
  • physical state of the substance
  • heat energy of substances
  • evolution of gas , light or sound
The chemical reactions in surrounding such as burning of coal in which solid coal burns and release of heat and carbon dioxide gas. In a chemical reaction, substances which interact with each other are called as reactants. The newly formed substances are called as products. For example; in rusting process, iron combine with water to form iron oxide. Here iron and oxygen are reactants and iron oxide that is newly formed compound is product of reaction and during this chemical reaction chemical bonds are formed and destroyed.

Chemical reactions may or may not involve change in physical state. If during a change, only physical state changes but the chemical composition of the substance remains same, such changes are called as physical changes. For example, melting of ice, crushing of paper are examples of physical changes as the chemical composition of the substances remain same. The symbolic representation of a chemical reaction is called as chemical equation. Reactants and products are written as their chemical formulae and conversion is indicated with the help of single or double headed arrows.

Single headed arrow indicates the conversion in one direction whereas double headed arrow indicates reversible reaction.

$C+O_{2}\rightarrow CO_{2}$
Reactants             Product

In chemical equations, the physical states of reactants and products must be written in parenthesis like (s) for solid, (l) for liquid and so on.

The evolution of gas is presented by "($\uparrow$)" and formation of precipitate is with "($\downarrow$)".

Products of Chemical Reactions

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The newly formed substance during a chemical reaction is called as product. It is always written at the right side of the chemical reaction. For example; combination of hydrogen and oxygen gas under certain conditions of pressure and temperature results the formation of water.

Here water is product and chemical and physical properties of water are different from reactants; hydrogen and oxygen gases. Similarly combination of silver ions with chloride ions forms white curdy precipitate of silver chloride. The product of a chemical reaction depends on the type of chemical reaction. There are mainly 6 types of chemical reactions.

Combustion: This type of reaction involves the combination of compound with oxygen to form water and carbon dioxide. They are exothermic reactions. 
$C_{10}H_{8} + 12O_{2}\rightarrow 10CO_{2} + 4H_{2}O$

Synthesis: Such reactions are mainly involved in the synthesis of new substances such as reaction of hydrogen with oxygen forms water. There is only one product during reaction like synthesis of ferrous sulphide occurs by iron and sulfur.

$8Fe + S_{8}\rightarrow 8FeS$

Decomposition: They are opposite reactions of synthesis reaction and involve decomposition of one substance in two or more substances. 
$2H_{2}$ $\rightarrow$ $2H_{2}$ + $O_{2}$

Displacement: In these reactions, one or more elements displace with another element in a compound. It can be single or double displacement in nature as given below,
$Mg + 2H_{2}O \rightarrow Mg(OH)_{2} + H_{2}$

$Pb(NO_{3})_{2} + 2Kl \rightarrow Pbl_{2} + 2KNO_{3}$

Neutralization: They are double displacement reaction in which acid and base combine together to form salt and water.

$HBr + NaOH \rightarrow NaBr + H_{2}O$

What are Products in a Chemical Reaction

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As discuss, products are newly formed substances which show different chemical and physical properties compare to reactants. For example; reaction of zinc with dilute sulphuric acid forms zinc sulphate and hydrogen. Here chemical and physical properties of zinc sulphate are entirely different from zinc and sulphuric acid.

$Zn_{s} + dil.H_{2}SO_{4}(aq) \rightarrow + H_{2}(g)(\uparrow)$

Similarly ammonia show different properties from nitrogen and hydrogen gas.Similarly ammonia show different properties from nitrogen and hydrogen gas.

$N_{2} + 3H_{2} \rightarrow 2NH_{3}$

How to Predict Products of Chemical Reactions?

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In a chemical reaction, if we know the reactants, we can easily predict the product of reaction. For predicting to product of any reaction, first try to check the presence of any precipitate in the chemical reaction. After that, try to find out other possible products of the reaction.  Next step is to identify the neutralization reactions which usually occur with acid like nitric, sulfuric and a hydroxide salt. After that, we can check the possibility of any redox reaction also.
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