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and (2) make sure to write correct formulas.

Here is one example of each category which are then solved below:

1) LiCl + O2 --->
2) Na2O + CO2 --->
3) SO3 + H2O --->
4) N2 + H2 --->
Example #1How to figure out the right (or product side):(1) Ask yourself what type of decomposition produces these products:
LiCl + O2 are the products of a chlorate decomposing.

Chlorate is always ClO3¯
Li is plus one
So the final answer looks like this:
LiCl + O2 ---> LiClO3
Example #2How to figure out the right (or product side):(1) Ask yourself what type of decomposition produces these products:
Na2O + CO2 are the products of a carbonate decomposing.

Synthesis are, at this introductory level, almost always the reverse of a decomposition reaction.

These pieces can be elements or simpler compounds.

That means that two pieces join together to produce one, more complex compound.

While there are many , they all fall into at least one of four broad categories: synthesis reactions, decomposition reactions, single displacement reactions, or double displacement reactions.

Written using generic symbols, it is usually shown as:

A + B ---> AB
These are some examples:
Mg + O2 ---> MgO
H2 + O2 ---> H2O
K + Cl2 ---> KCl
Fe + O2 ---> Fe2O3
Notice that two elements are combining in each example.

These are some examples of synthesis reactions:

The hallmark of a synthesis reaction is that a more complex product is formed from the reactants. One easy-to-recognize type of synthesis reaction occurs when two or more elements combine to form a compound. The other type of synthesis reaction happens when and element and a compound combine to form a new compound. Basically, to identify this reaction, look for a product which contains all of the reactant atoms.

The reactants may be elements or compounds. The product is always a compound.

Here is one more category of decomposition reactions:

CaO + H2O ---> Ca(OH)2
Na2O + H2O ---> NaOH
N2O5 + H2O ---> HNO3
P2O5 + H2O ---> H3PO4
The first two substances are metallic oxides and the last two are nonmetallic oxides.

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This is not always the case in a synthesis reaction.


Sometimes there will be two products.

1) Direct union of two elements will produce a binary compound.
2) Metallic oxides and carbon dioxide react to produce carbonates.
3.

categories apply, just in reverse.

Here's another example of a synthesis reaction:

H2 + O2 ---> H2O2
This happens to be a reaction that can never take place.

Binary salts and oxygen react to produce a chlorate.

Carbonate is always CO32¯
Na is plus one
So the final answer looks like this:
Na2O + CO2 ---> Na2CO3
Example #3How to figure out the right (or product side):(1) Ask yourself what type of decomposition produces these products:
SO3 + H2O are the products of an acid decomposing.

(2) Write the reactant formula using the compounds from step one.

Here's an example:

CO2 + H2O ---> C6H12O6 + O2
You might recognize this as the photosynthesis equation.

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In SO3 the S has an oxidation number of +6H has its usual value of +1 and O has its usual value of -2
So the final answer looks like this:
SO3 + H2O ---> H2SO4
If this oxidation number business is unknown to you, the only other way is to memorize a set of reactions.

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Synthesis can also be two compounds making a more complex compound (or a compound and an element joining together) as in these examples:

CaO + CO2 ---> CaCO3
Na2O + CO2 ---> Na2CO3
KCl + O2 ---> KClO3
Ba(ClO3)2 ---> BaCl2 + O2
Notice how, in every case so far, there is only one substance on the right-hand (product) side.

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Example #4How to figure out the right (or product side):(1) Ask yourself what type of decomposition produces these products:

N2 + H2 are the products of a binary compound decomposing.

(2) Write the reactant formula using the compounds from step one.

Be sure to count the number of atoms in both the reactants and products. Sometimes when a chemical equation is written, "extra" information is given that may make it hard to recognize what is going on in a reaction. Counting numbers and types of atoms makes it easier to identify reaction types.

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