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Difference between Synthesis, Analysis, Conversion and Reaction in Chemistry

Info by Collin McNeil | Last update on 2022-12-29 | Created on 2018-02-23

During a chemical reaction, substances are converted into other substances. Generally, there are two basic types of possible transformations: synthesis (combination of substances) and analysis (decomposition of substances).

In addition, we speak about a conversion if a chemical reaction is accompanied by both, combinations as well as decompositions of substances. In this article we would like to take a closer look at these different basic types of chemical reactions and give examples of a synthesis, an analysis and a conversion.


During a synthesis, individual elements are assembled together into a new compound. A new chemical compound is created.

\[\mathrm{ 2 H_2 + O_2 \rightarrow 2 H_2 O }\]

Example: An example of a synthesis is the connection of the elements hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) to water (H2O), for example in the oxyhydrogen test.


The analysis disassembles an existing chemical compound into its elements. The chemical substance is thus decomposed into its components.

\[\mathrm{ 2 H_2 O \rightarrow O_2 + 2 H_2 }\]

Example: An example of an analysis is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H), for example by electrolysis.


Conversions in chemistry are a mixture of syntheses and analyzes, both, decompositions and combinations occur together within one reaction.

In a simple conversion, an element react with a compound, creating another element and a new compound. In a dual conversion, two compounds react with each other in a way that two new compounds are formed.

\[\mathrm{ CH_4 + 2 O_2 \rightarrow CO_2 + 2 H_2O }\]

Example: An example of a double conversion is the combustion of methane (CH4 and oxygen (02). When these two compounds are burned, the new compounds carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) are formed.


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