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Chemical synthesis

A chemical synthesis is a process of creating a chemical compound through a series of physical and chemical manipulations usually involving one or more chemical reactions. In modern laboratory usage, this tends to imply that the process is reproducible, reliable, and established to work in multiple laboratories (because, in the bad old days of chemical publication, it was not unheard of for someone to publish a synthetic pathway and "accidently" leave out a step).

A chemical synthesis usually involves the use of compounds that are known as reagents. The desired compound produced is called the product. The amount of product in such a synthesis is the yield. Typically yields are expressed as a weight in grams or as a percentage of the total theoretical quantity of product that could be produced.

Synthesis describes a direct combination reaction, in which two or more reactants[?] combine to form a single product. The general form of a direct combination reaction is:

A + B -> AB
where A and B are elements or compounds, and AB is a compound consisting of A and B. The single product is always more complex than either of the reactants. Examples of synthesis reactions include:

2Na + Cl2 -> 2 NaCl (formation of table salt)
S + O2 -> SO2 (formation of sulfur dioxide)
4 Fe + 3 O2 -> 2 Fe2O3 (iron rusting)
CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3 (carbon dioxide dissolving into water to form carbonic acid)

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