Chemical reactions of nature- Here is the list that you should not miss to know about the chemical reactions that occur in nature. So, reactions occur everywhere in the world around you, not just in a chemistry lab. Just like the chemical reactions in the human body, they occur in nature too.
They might sometimes be too obvious to the human eyes, but are very important for proper functioning of mother nature. Here are ten important chemical reactions occurring in nature:
(Also Read “ chemical reactions in human body”)
1) Combustion: One of the top ten Chemical reactions of nature
You experience combustion reactions when you strike a match, burn a candle, start a campfire, or light a grill.Combustion reactions are indeed very important. In a combustion reaction, a fuel reacts with oxygen from air to produce water and carbon dioxide.The combustion spreads from the ignition source to the adjacent layer of gas mixture; in turn, each point of the burning layer serves as an ignition source for the next adjacent layer, and so on. Combustion terminates when equilibrium is achieved between the total heat energies of the reactants and the total heat energies of the products.
Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants and certain other organisms transform light energy into chemical energy. During photosynthesis in green plants, light energy is captured and used to convert water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into oxygen and energy-rich organic compounds. It would be impossible to overestimate the importance of photosynthesis in the maintenance of life on Earth. If photosynthesis ceased, there would soon be little food or other organic matter on Earth. Most organisms would disappear, and in time Earth’s atmosphere would become nearly devoid of gaseous oxygen.
Rust, verdigris, and tarnish are all examples of common oxidation reactions. When iron rusts, it changes color and texture to form a flake coating called rust. The reaction also releases heat, but it usually occurs too slowly for this to be noticeable.The term oxidation was originally used to describe reactions in which an element combines with oxygen.
Just mixing dry ingredients usually doesn’t result in a chemical reaction. But, adding a liquid ingredient often results in a reaction. Cooking with heat also causes reactions. Mixing flour, sugar, and salt is not a chemical reaction. Neither is mixing oil and vinegar. Cooking an egg is a chemical reaction because heat polymerizes proteins in egg white, while the hydrogen and sulfur in the yolk can react to form hydrogen sulfide gas. When you heat sugar, a reaction called caramelization occurs. When you heat meat, it browns due to the Maillard reaction. Baked goods rise due to carbon dioxide bubbles formed by the reaction between baking powder or soda and liquid ingredients.
Digestion is a complex process that involves thousands of chemical reactions. When you put food in your mouth, water and the enzyme amylase breaks down sugar and other carbohydrates into simpler molecules. Hydrochloric acid and enzymes break down proteins in your stomach. Sodium bicarbonate released into the small intestine neutralizes the acid and protects the digestive tract from dissolving itself.
6. Soap and Detergent Reactions:
Washing your hands with water isn’t a chemical reaction because you’re just mechanically rinsing away grime. If you add soap or detergent, chemical reactions occur that emulsify grease and lower surface tension so you can remove oily grime. Even more reactions occur in laundry detergent, which may contain enzymes to break apart proteins and whiteners to prevent clothes from looking dingy.
7. Acid-Base Reactions:
Acid-base reactions occur anytime you mix an acid (e.g., lemon juice, vinegar, muriatic acid, battery acid, carbonic acid from carbonated beverages) with a base (e.g., baking soda, ammonia, lye). A good example of an acid-base reaction is the reaction between baking soda and vinegar to form sodium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide gas. In general, a reaction between an acid and a base produces salt and water. For example, if you react with muriatic acid (HCl) and lye (NaOH), you get table salt (NaCl) and water (H2O). In this reaction, two clear liquids form another clear liquid, but you can tell a reaction occurs because it releases a lot of heat.
8. Anaerobic Cellular Respiration:
Organisms also have ways to get energy without oxygen. Humans use anaerobic respiration during intense or prolonged exercise to get enough energy to muscle cells. Yeast and bacteria use anaerobic respiration in the form of fermentation to make everyday products, such as wine, vinegar, yogurt, bread, cheese, and beer. Anaerobic respiration is a critical component of the global nitrogen, iron, sulfur, and carbon cycles through the reduction of the oxyanions of nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon to more-reduced compounds. The biogeochemical cycling of these compounds, which depends upon anaerobic respiration, significantly impacts the carbon cycle and global warming. Anaerobic respiration occurs in many environments, including freshwater and marine sediments, soil, subsurface aquifers, deep subsurface environments, and biofilms.
9. Aerobic Cellular Respiration:
Animals use the oxygen provided by plants to perform essentially the reverse reaction of photosynthesis to get energy for cells. Aerobic respiration reacts glucose and oxygen to form water and chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Aerobic respiration is a biological process in which food glucose is converted into energy in the presence of oxygen. energy is released by splitting the glucose molecules with the help of oxygen gas. At the end of the chemical reaction, energy, water molecules, and carbon dioxide gas are released as the by-products or end products of the reactions.Aerobic respiration process takes place in all multicellular organisms including animals, plants and other living organisms.
Electrochemical reactions are redox (oxidation and reduction) reactions that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. And these type of reactions depend mostly on the batteries. Spontaneous reactions occur in galvanic cells, while nonspontaneous reactions take place in electrolytic cells. Redox potential gradients and electron fluxes are inherent ingredients of electrochemical energy conversion systems. They also play a major role in natural ecosystems from the sub-microscopic to the macroscopic scale. Ultimately, they can be considered to form the fundamental components of biological energy conversion and thus for all life forms.