29March 2018

Inorganic Chemistry – An Introduction

What is Inorganic Chemistry?

Inorganic chemistry deals with all those compounds which do not have carbon and hydrogen as the main constituents. These substances are mostly the metals, salts, chemicals etc. Till now scientists have discovered about 1, 00, 000 inorganic compounds. The study of inorganic chemistry deals with the analysis of properties of these inorganic compounds like the physical and chemical properties along with the chemical reactions depicting their behavior. All the elements included in the periodic table except carbon and hydrogen comes under inorganic compounds.

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Classification of Inorganic Compounds:

Inorganic compounds can be classified into the following categories:

  • Acids: These are inorganic compounds which when dissolved in water gives out hydrogen ions or H+ There are some very common acids which are used in our daily life as well as in industries. These are Hydrochloric acid, Sulphuric acid, Nitric acid, Citric acid, vinegar, acetic acid etc. An example of the reactivity of an acid is given below:

HCl (Hydrochloric acid) + H2O (Water) à H+ + Cl

  • Bases: A base is also an inorganic compound which when dissolved in water gives out hydroxyl ions or OH The most common bases are Potassium Hydroxide, Calcium Hydroxide, Ammonia, Sodium Hydroxide etc. An example of the reactivity of a base is given below:

Potassium Hydroxide + H2O (Water) à K+ + OH

  • Salts: A salt is a compound formed by the reaction between an acid and a base. For example, the table salt is a good example of a salt. Its chemical name is Sodium Chloride or NaCl. The reaction of its formation is as follows:

HCl + NaOH à NaCl + H2O

  • Oxides: These are the compounds which contain one oxygen atom. For example, Magnesium oxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides etc.

Types of Reactions with Examples:

There are four types of chemical reactions:

  • Combination Reactions: In these reactions, two or more substances combine to form a product. For example, Barium + Fluorine à Barium Fluoride
  • Decomposition Reactions: In these reactions, a single substance splits into two independent substances or elements. For example, FeS à Fe + S
  • Single Displacement Reactions: In these reactions, a single atom replaces another atom of a compound. For example, Zn(S) + CuSO4(Aq) à Cu(S) + ZnSO4(Aq)
  • Double Displacement Reactions: Here two elements of two different compounds replace each other forming two new compounds. For example, CaCl2(Aq) + 2AgNO3(Aq) à Ca(NO3)2(Aq) + 2AgCl(S)

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