A chemical reaction involves change. For
example, two substances coming together to form a
new substance is a chemical reaction. So,
when you mix baking soda and vinegar together, you
are causing a chemical reaction. In this reaction,
a portion of the baking soda and vinegar is
changed into carbon dioxide gas, which produces
the bubbles you see!
A chemical is any substance that
is involved in a chemical reaction. The
reactants that cause the reaction (the baking soda
and the vinegar) or a product of the reaction (the
gas bubbles that form) are all chemicals.
Based on this definition, almost anything can be
considered a chemical, since almost anything can
be made to undergo a chemical change given
the right conditions (such as high temperature).
Some chemicals, though, are more
valuable than others. For example,
petrochemicals are a type of chemicals obtained
from oil (also called petroleum) or natural
gas. To produce petrochemicals, oil companies
first drill into the ground to access reservoirs
of crude oil (called crude because it is unrefined
and consists of a mixture of natural chemicals).
This crude oil is then sent to an oil refinery,
where it is separated into different chemicals.
Some of these chemicals include gasoline and
diesel used in cars and trucks, and some are
converted into petrochemicals. These
petrochemicals include plastics, food additives,
and even medicine!
Click Here to return to the search form.