General Chemistry Laboratory/Types of Chemical Reactions

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In a precipitation reaction, an insoluble substance forms and separates from the solution. The solid is known as a precipitate, and the solution above the precipitate is called the supernatant. Generally, the experiment begins with two homogeneous solutions, and a precipitate forms when they are combined. After the maximum amount of substance that can dissolve in the solutions has dissolved, the remainder forms a precipitate.

Solutions with soluble components do not form a precipitate if they are not saturated. Ionic compounds generally dissociate in water.

Precipitation reactions are often used to isolate a particular ion from the solution. The process allows for selective removal of ions through properties of solubility.

The calculations for precipitation reactions are to be determined quantitatively; stoichiometry is heavily involved.


In an acid-base reaction, molecules classified as acids and bases interact with each other in a particular way. There are multiple definitions of acid and base molecules. One of the most common of these is the Brønsted-Lowry definition, which indicates that an acid is a proton donor, while a base is a proton acceptor. Another common definition is the Lewis definition, which indicates that an acid is an electron acceptor, while a base is an electron donor.