Reversible Chemical Reactions Examples

Introduction to Reversible Chemical Reactions:

We observe various changes around us. Chemical reactions are very much concerned with our day to day life.

E.g. Rusting of iron, setting of cement, souring of milk, burning of L.P.G., digestion of food are all chemical reactions.

The reactions which can be reversed in the opposite direction are called reversible reactions. In such reaction, we can get back the reactants by reacting products. Let us see some reversible chemical reactions examples:

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Reversible Chemical Reactions Examples:

Reversible Chemical Reaction Example 1:

Our life depends on the reversible attachment of oxygen to a protein called haemoglobin. This protein is found in our blood. Oxygen is picked up by haemoglobin as it passes through the blood vessels of the lungs. It is then carried to tissues in other parts of the body. In our organs like muscles and brain, the oxygen is detached and is used by the cells of these organs. This happens due to change in conditions in these organs. This is how the attachment of oxygen with haemoglobin is a reversible process.

Reversible Chemical Reaction Example 2:

Thermal decomposition of salts such as hydrates copper-sulphate results in the dehydration of the salt.

CuSO4.5H2O ———–> CuSO4 (s) + 5H2O (g)

In this reaction, colour changes from blue to white. Water is removed from the copper sulphate. This dehydration reaction can be reversed by slowly adding water back to the powder. This reaction is exothermic and the blue colour of the powder is retained.

CuSO4 (s) + 5H2O ————> CuSO4.5H2O

Thus, the overall reversible reaction can be shown as follows:

CuSO4.5H2O <———-> CuSO4 (s) + 5H2O

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Reversible Chemical Reaction Example 3:

Decomposition of ammonium chloride is also a reversible reaction. Ammonium chloride decomposes on heating to ammonia and hydrogen chloride gas.

NH4Cl ————-> NH3 + HCl

However, on cooling, white solid of ammonium chloride is formed.

NH3 (g) + HCl (g) ————> NH4Cl (s)

Thus, this reversible reaction can be given as:

NH4Cl <———-> NH3 + HCl

When ammonium chloride is heated in open vessel, reverse reaction does not occur. On the other hand, when ammonium chloride is heated in a closed vessel, it gets decomposed into ammonia and hydrogen chloride. Reversible reactions occur only in closed system. In open vessel, reversible reaction is impossible.

Reversible Chemical Reaction Example 4:

Evaporation of water in a closed vessel is also an example of the reversible reaction. When water is heated in a closed vessel, it is converted into water vapours. On cooloing, these water vapours are again converted into water. The reversible reaction is shown as follows:

H2O(l) <——-> H2O(g)

Other Reversible Reactions Examples:

(i) Hydrolysis of salt

FeCl3 + 3H2O <——–> Fe(OH)3 + 3HCl

(ii) Thermal decomposition of phosphorus pentachloride

PCl<———-> PCl3 + Cl2

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