Is boiling water a chemical change?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “Is boiling water a chemical change?” Also, we’ll explore at what temperature water undergoes physical changes, what a chemical change is, and what are some common chemical changes our readers can observe in everyday life. 

Is boiling water a chemical change? 

No, boiling water is not a chemical change, but a physical one. This is because when water boils, it simply becomes steam, which means that its particles will not be as tightly knit as they would be if water were liquid or frozen solid.

For it to undergo a chemical change, it would have to be subjected to a reaction with another compound, which would alter the chemical structure of water.

Chemical reactions May give us energy in the form of entropy or enthalpy, and they may require a catalyst (a substance that regulates the speed of a chemical reaction). 

A chemical change by nature is irreversible and results in different substances being produced, while a physical change can easily be reversed by applying or absorbing thermal energy. 

Below, we’ll explore the physical changes water can undergo. 

At what temperature does water undergo physical changes? 

Water undergoes physical changes at 0°C, at which point it can either solidify or liquefy depending on whether the temperature drops or rises respectively, and from 0° to 100°C (at sea level) water remains liquid. 

If atmospheric pressure is lower than sea level, water may boil lower at temperatures such as 91°C. This is because water becomes a vapor when its molecules reach atmospheric pressure, which can vary between environments. 

Add a kelvin scale; water boils at 373° kelvin, and freezes at 273° kelvin (once again boiling temperatures are contingent on the fluid’s atmospheric pressure). 

On the Farenheight scale, water freezes at 32°F, and boils at 212 °F (approximately, depending on atmospheric pressure). 

These changes alter the cohesion between water molecules, and as a result, steam is gaseous, while ice, which has very little energy in its molecules, is compact. 

What is a chemical change? 

A chemical change is a reaction in which two or more compounds interact and give way to new compounds, and the elements that form these compounds interact more intricately. 

Chemical changes can occur in both organic and inorganic molecules, and they’re the basis for many biological, industrial, and commercial processes. 

A few industries that rely on chemical changes include material science, pharmaceuticals, pesticides,  food, water purification, and many others. 

There are many types of chemical changes that have been closely studied for the synthesis of both organic and inorganic substances, though biological reactions are often more complex than their inorganic counterparts, and require the effect of special proteins to act as catalysts. 

These proteins are known as enzymes, and their function is to regulate (often, by hastening) the speed at which a chemical reaction occurs. 

Chemical changes, unlike physical changes, are not reversible without the addition of more chemical reactions. 

Chemical changes can be classified into two major groups known as endothermic reactions (changes that absorb energy from the environment) and exothermic reactions (changes that release energy into the environment). 

Chemical reactions occur regularly in both organic and inorganic processes, and they’re the basis for many of our achievements such as construction, polymers, and biotechnology. 

What are some common chemical changes seen in everyday life? 

For example, humans breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide in a chemical reaction known as respiration, while plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen in an inverted process, known as photosynthesis. 

All biological systems depend on chemical reactions to carry out their daily processes, and chemical ranges are constantly being carried out in our cells. Carbohydrates such as starch are subjected to reactions that break down their long chains into small molecules of glucose–which nourishes our cells. 

In addition, glucose itself is also subject to another chemical reaction when insulin transports it into our cells to source energy. 

A more common example is cooking. In essence, cooking is a chemical change, as we use heat to break down food molecules and make them easier for our digestive systems to source nutrients–the building blocks that make up proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. 

When our readers do something as simple as toasting bread on a griddle or in a toaster oven, they’re subjecting their food to a chemical change known as the Maillard reaction –which results in the browning of one’s food.

To summarize, chemical changes are ubiquitous, and they’re the very foundations of our bodily functions, and at a grander scale, what makes up everything around us.  

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “Is boiling water a chemical change?” Also, we’ve explored at what temperature water undergoes physical changes, what a chemical change is, and what are some common chemical changes our readers can observe in everyday life. 

References. 

https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Physical_and_Theoretical_Chemistry_Textbook_Maps/Supplemental_Modules_(Physical_and_Theoretical_Chemistry)/Fundamentals/Chemical_Change_vs._Physical_Change

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/science/continuum/Pages/chemreactions.aspx#:~:text=Chemical%20reactions%20involve%20breaking%20chemical,number%20of%20molecules%20will%20change.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/maillard-reaction

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-cooking-995428

Leave a Comment