Before entering fully into the definition of synthesis reaction, it is necessary that we proceed to know the etymological origin of the two key words that shape it:
-Reaction derives from Latin and is the result of the sum of two components: the prefix “re-”, which means “backwards”, and “actio”. This second word, in turn, emanates from the verb “agere”, which is synonymous with “do”, and from the suffix “-tio”, which is used to indicate “action and effect”.
-Synthesis, on the other hand, has its origin in Greek. And it comes from the noun “synthesis”, which comes to mean “composition that is formed from the sum of the parts.” This name is obtained by adding the prefix “syn-”, which can be translated as “con”, and “thesis”, which is synonymous with “conclusion”.
A chemical reaction it is a change that a substance undergoes. From this reaction, the substance in question loses properties and acquires different ones, modifying its structure and its chemical bonds.
There are different types of chemical reactions. A synthesis reaction is one that leads to two different substances (that is, two reagents) combine to form a single product. It can be said, therefore, that two simple elements, through a synthetic reaction, come together and create a complex compound.
The formula of a synthesis reaction is as follows: X + Y = XY. As it is possible to warn, X and AND are two different chemicals that combine to form a new product (XY).
The historical figure who is considered to be the first to give real and conscious form to the synthesis reactions is the German chemist Friedrich Wholer (1800 – 1882), who achieved this result from his work with the organic substance known as urea.
A synthesis reaction between a nonmetal and hydrogen allows obtaining a hydracid, to cite one possibility. Similarly, a synthesis reaction that combines a nonmetal with H2O generates a oxyacid, while the combination of a basic oxide with H2O results in a hydroxide.
What happens in a synthesis reaction is that, as it develops, the chemical bonds that existed between the reactants are broken and they are formed new links, resulting in a different compound.
Thanks to a synthesis reaction, therefore, products can be obtained whose properties they will be more marked than the original ones or even have non-existent properties in the reagents.
In addition to all the above, it should be known that synthesis reactions can be classified into two large groups: those of partial synthesis and those of total synthesis. The first are those that take place when the reactants are compound substances or a mixture between compounds and elementals. The totals, on the other hand, are those that are undertaken with only elemental substances.
The reverse reaction to synthesis is known as decomposition reaction: from a single reagent, two or more products are obtained.