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Knowledge database: Chemical reactions: Complex reactions

As complex cases of reactions, we could mention the reactions of synthesis and analysis of coordination complex compounds, protolytic reactions and reactions of sedimentation and dissolution.

Complex compounds are compounds that are composed of two main parts - the central ion and the ligands. Ligands are basically molecules or ions that are bound to the central ion. This central ion is mostly one of the transition elements, and thereby its last electron shell isn't full. Because of that, the central ion attracts molecules or ions that have lone pairs of electrons. This kind of bond between the ligands and the central ion is known as the coordinate covalent bond. Although understanding the creation of complex compounds isn't that simple, it isn't necessary for the understanding of reactions in which ions of this type take part.

chemistry tutorials - complex reactions

On the picture above, one can see an example of a complex compound in which there is a cobalt central ion, to which chloride and ammonium ions are connected to, as ligands. One can also see that this ion has its own charge number, and in reactions, it basically behaves like a cation.

The other mentioned type of reactions are the so called protolytic reactions. They are characterized by the transfer of protons (i.e. hydrogen ions) from one ion or molecule to another. As a typical example we can mention the following reaction: NH3 + H2O <-> NH4+ + OH-. In this reaction, the water molecule loses a proton, and thereby becomes a hydroxide ion. On the other hand, the ammonia molecule recieves a proton, and thereby becomes an ammonium ion.

The last type of reactions that were mentioned are the reactions of sedimentation and dissolution. In cases of such reactions, one usually deals with two solutions in which there are different ions dissolved. By combining these solutions, a insoluble compound is created in form of a sediment. This type of reactions is often used in analytical laboratories for the detection of certain compounds in different samples. As a typical example, we can mention the following reaction: Ag+ + Cl- <-> AgCl. When the solutions containing silver and chloride ions are mixed together, silver chloride forms immidiately in form of a white sediment.



Basic laws of chemistry


Chemical reactions
   Redox reactions
   Complex reactions
   Association and dissociation
   Limiting reagent

Chemical equilibrium