Precipitation Reaction - Definition, Examples, Properties, Types, FAQs

What is Precipitation Reaction?

Precipitate Meaning in Chemistry/Precipitation Reaction Definition: The word precipitation meaning refers to a chemical reaction formation that occurs in an aqueous solution and results in the creation of an insoluble salt when two ionic bonds join. Precipitates are insoluble salts that develop during precipitation reactions. Precipitation reactions are often double displacement events that result in a solid form residue known as the precipitate.

These reactions can also occur when two or more solutions containing different salts are mixed, resulting in the precipitation of insoluble salts from the solution. The chemical reaction between potassium chloride and silver nitrate, in which solid silver chloride is precipitate chemistry out, is one of the greatest examples of precipitation reactions. Insoluble meaning is the compound is not soluble in water. As a result of the precipitation reaction, an insoluble salt is created. This precipitation reaction's chemical equation is shown below.

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AgNO3 (aqueous) + KCl (aqueous) → AgCl (precipitate) + KNO3 (aqueous)

In the foregoing process, a white solid-state precipitate known as silver chloride, or AgCl, is generated. Water does not dissolve this solid silver chloride. Precipitation reactions are useful for determining the presence of various ions in a solution.

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2KOH (aqueous) + CaCl2 (aqueous) → Ca(OH)2 (aqueous) + 2KCl (aqueous)

Here are some more examples of chemical equations for the precipitation reaction.

AgNO3 (aqueous) + NaCl (aqueous) → AgCl↓ + NaNO3 (aqueous)

Mg(OH)2 (s) + 2HCl (aqueous) →MgCl2 (aqueous) + 2H2O (l)

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Properties of Precipitates and Precipitation Reaction

The following are some of the qualities of precipitate chemistry and the reaction

  1. The precipitation reaction takes place in an ionic state in aqueous solutions or a media.

  2. The product is formed by a reaction between ions present in aqueous solutions.

  3. The precipitates that develop at the end of the precipitation reaction are insoluble in aqueous solutions.

  4. Precipitation reactions are referred to as ionic reactions because the ions actively participate in the reaction and generate the product.

  5. These processes are influenced by temperature, solution concentration, buffer solution, and other factors.

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Precipitation Reaction Examples in Everyday Life

In wastewater treatment, the precipitation reaction can be used. We can employ this reaction to precipitate out the contaminated ions when a contaminant forms an insoluble solid. Heavy metals, such as sulphide and hydroxide complexes, are frequently present in wastewater. As a result, we can add a soluble source of hydroxide (NaOH or Na2S) to initiate a precipitation reaction.

Applications of Precipitation Reaction

The precipitation reaction can be used to determine the presence of a certain element in a given solution.

  1. Precipitation reaction is used to monitor the production of a precipitate in a solution when a chemical is added to it.

  2. Magnesium is extracted from saltwater using these devices. A precipitation response occurs in the human body when antigens and antibodies interact.

Test for Precipitation

When bivalent antibody reacts with multivalent soluble antigen, a visible precipitate forms, which is an antigen-antibody response indicator.

  1. The flocculation test is performed when precipitate remains suspended rather than sediment.

  2. Ag-Ab concentrations must be appropriate for precipitation to occur.

  3. There is no apparent precipitate when the antibody concentration is too high and the antigen concentration is too low. Excess antibody inhibits precipitation, which is known as the prozone effect.

  4. When the antibody concentration is too low and the antigen concentration is too high, however, no apparent precipitate forms.

  5. Excess antigen inhibits precipitation, which is known as the post-zone effect.

  6. Precipitation happens only when antigen and antibody concentrations are in the proper range (4:1)

  7. Equivalence zone is the graph where precipitation happens most frequently.

  8. The lattice hypothesis can be used to explain precipitation formation.

  9. When antigen and antibody are in the proper concentration, maximum cross linking of antigen by antibody occurs, resulting in the formation of a visible precipitate.

  10. Either excess antigen or excess antibody prevents extensive cross linking of antigen by antibody so that visible precipitate is not formed.

  11. This is the reasons why the precipitate occur only in equivalence zone but not in prozone and post zone.

Related Topics Link,

  • Example Chemical Change
  • Chemical Formula
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Types of Chemical Reactions
  • Laws of Chemical Combination for Elements and Compounds

Types of Precipitation Tests in Brief

1. Simple precipitation test

i. Slide precipitation/flocculation test

This experiment is performed on a glass slide.

On a slide, one drop of reagent (antigen or antibody) is placed. The serum sample is then added one drop at a time.

The slide is then turned to thoroughly mix the serum and reagent.

A positive test is indicated by the formation of precipitate.

ii. Tube precipitation test

In a thin test tube, a transparent sample solution containing antigen is layered slowly, similar to a clear antibody solution.

A white ring of precipitate occurs at the confluence of two liquids after a specific amount of time.

2. Immuno-diffusion test (gel diffusion)

i. Immuno-electrophoresis

This method is used to detect and isolate a specific protein in a patient's serum.

For example, to detect a malignant protein combination. First, a serum containing a protein mixture is deposited in a well on the gel. Electrophoresis is then used to separate the proteins in the serum.

Proteins in serum generate separate bands after electrophoresis. Then a parallel trench is made in the gel and filled with a specific antibody solution.

Where antigen and antibody meet in the right concentration, a precipitate band forms.

ii. Rocket electrophoresis

It's a quantitative test that determines the amount of antigen or antibody in a sample.

The antigen-containing sample is inserted in the well after the antibody has been integrated into the gel. Electrophoresis is then performed.

Antigen and antibody bind together to form a rocket-shaped precipitate band whose length is proportional to antigen concentration.

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