Writing a chemical reaction in sentences can be cumbersome. There is an easier way to write chemical reaction and that is through chemical equation.
Chemical equation can be written as word equation or by using symbols of elements. Following is the word equation of combustion of magnesium.
Magnesium + Oxygen → Magnesium oxide
Word equation can be lengthy and cumbersome. So, the better way to write a chemical equation is by using symbols of elements. Above equation can be written as follows:
Mg + O2 → MgO
Substances written on the LHS (Left Hand Side) of the arrow are called reactants, as they participate in chemical reaction. Substances written on the RHS are called products, as they are made after a chemical reaction.
Reactant and Product:
Reactant: Substances which take part in a chemical reaction are called reactants.
Product: New substance formed after a chemical reaction is called product.
Example: A + B → C + D
In this equation, A and B are called reactants and C and D are called the products. Arrow shows the direction of chemical reaction. Condition, if any, is written generally above the arrow.
Example: When hydrogen reacts with oxygen, it gives water. This reaction can be represented by following chemical equation.
Hydrogen + Oxygen → Water
H2 + O2 → H2O
In first equation words are used and in second symbols of substances are used to write the chemical equation. For convenience, symbol of substance is used to represent chemical equations. In this case, hydrogen and oxygen are reactants, while water is the product.
Example: When calcium reacts with water, calcium hydroxide and hydrogen are formed. In this reaction, calcium and water are reactants, while calcium hydroxide and hydrogen are products.
Calcium + Water → Calcium Hydroxide + Hydrogen
Ca + 2H2O → Ca(OH)2 + H2
Chemical Equation is a way to represent the chemical reaction in concise and informative way.