Chemical Properties of Matter explained with Examples

len Alfred Ajibola - Mon, 20th January, 2020 @ 13:20: PM

Topics in Chemistry

Le Chatelier's Principle: Changes in Concentration and Pressure explained in Dynamic Equilibrium Chemical Equilibrium: Dynamic Equilibrium in Chemistry Static and Dynamic Equilibrium explained with their Differences Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Compounds in Chemistry: Characteristics of Compounds Types of Mixture: Homogenous and Heterogeneous Mixtures Mixtures: Characteristics of Mixtures Physical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Chemical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Differences between Physical and Chemical Change Ionic Theory and Electrolysis Physical and Chemical Properties of Acids States of Matter: Characteristics of Solids Liquid State of Matter: Characteristics of Liquids Gaseous State of Matter: Characteristics of Gases Molar Mass, Worked Examples and Differences with Molecular Mass Elements: Characteristics of Elements Salts and Types of Salt in Chemistry

Academic Questions in Chemistry

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The Separating Funnel is a technique used in the separation of mixtures. Another name for Separating Funnel is the _____ Funnel.

  • A. Partition
  • B. Separatory
  • C. Division
  • D. Liquid
  • E. Half
  • F. Dividing

2NH4+(aq) + Ag+(aq) -> 2H4AgN

The equation above represents _____ acid.

  • A. Svante Arrhenius'

  • B. Brønsted–Lowry's

  • C. Gilbert Lewis'

  • D. Avogadro's

  • E. Sir Isaac Newton's

  • F. Albert Einstein's

According to Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry, an acid is defined as _____.

  • A. Any substance that produces hydrogen ion (H+) when dissolved in water

  • B. A substance that accepts electron pair in a chemical reaction

  • C. A substance that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water

  • D. A substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction

  • E. A substance that reacts with a base to form salt and water

  • F. A substance whose hydrogen ions  (H+) are displaced after a reaction with metals higher in the activity, reactivity or electrochemical series

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of chemical change?

  • A. A new thing is formed
  • B. It cannot be easily separated into it's constituents elements
  • C. A new chemical formula accompanies whatever is formed
  • D. The burning of candle is an example of a chemical change
  • E. Blood is an example of a chemical change
  • F. Iron rust is an example of a chemical change

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning a physical change _____.

  • A. Substances formed in a physical change have a unique chemical formula and IUPAC name
  • B. It's a change that is easily reversible
  • C. It's a change that can be separated via an appropriate separation technique
  • D. No new substance is formed
  • E. A mixture of salt and water is a physical change
  • F. Physical change can result to a change in color and shapes of substances

The following substances will sublime EXCEPT _____.

  • A. Sodium Cryolite
  • B. Solid Carbon(IV)oxide
  • C. Arsenic
  • D. Sulphur
  • E. Iodine Crystals
  • F. Naphthalene

Which of the following is a state of matter?

  • A. Ions
  • B. Plasma
  • C. Compounds
  • D. Molecules
  • E. Atoms
  • F. None of the above

The ideal way of separating a mixture of blood is through _____.

  • A. Chromatography
  • B. Fractional Distillation
  • C. Centrifugation
  • D. Filtration
  • E. Separating Funnel
  • F. Fractional Crystallization



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Chemical Properties of Matter:

All forms of matter (whether visible or invisible to the human eyes) will always have their unique physical and chemical properties.

Please read on the Concept of Matter here.

Chemical properties of matter are those features or characteristics of matter that describes the ability of matter to form new substances through chemical reactions.

You can read on the Physical Properties of Matter here.

The term chemical property is ascribed to matter whenever it undergoes a change to form an entirely new substance. Such change is referred to as a chemical change.

Please read on the DIFFERENCES between Physical and Chemical Change here.

Note: Understanding the chemical properties of matter is an important part of Chemistry. In fact Chemistry is defined as the study of matter and the changes they undergo.

Please read on Physical Change and Chemical Change explained here.

Using iron as an instance, one of its chemical properties will be its ability to react with oxygen and water leading to the formation of rust. The point to remember here is:

Iron has a chemical property called oxidation; and oxidation of iron refers to it's reaction with oxygen and water to form rust.

It important to state that the rust formed from iron in the above instance is entirely different from iron. It is these differences in the chemical composition of substances that make up their specific chemical properties.

Please read on the Physical and Chemical Properties of Acids here.

Below are some explanations on the chemical properties of matter:

1. Oxidation and Reduction

Oxidation and Reduction are important concepts in chemical reactions.

In simple words, Oxidation is the loss of electron(s) while Reduction is the gain of electron(s). Both processes (oxidation and reduction) occurs simultaneously in a reaction; and such reactions are termed as Redox reactions.

For instance, in the formation of rust, iron (Fe) is oxidized into rust because it loses it's electrons to another element (oxygen & water in this case). At the same time, water is reduced during this reaction because it gained electrons from iron. This is a redox reaction and it's summarized in the equation below:

Iron + Oxygen (from the atmosphere) dissolved in Water -> Iron Oxide (Rust)

4Fe(s) + 6H2O(l) -> 2Fe2O3 + 6H2

Iron (III) Oxide is the IUPAC name for Fe2O3 (rust) because its oxidation number had increased from +2 to +3 after it gave out (or donated) electrons to water molecules containing oxygen.

Please read more on the Concepts of Ions and Electrolytes here.

Note: The substance that donates electron(s) during a chemical reaction are termed reducing agents or reductant or reducer while that while that that accept electron(s) are termed oxidizing agents, or oxidant or oxidizer.

In redox reactions, the oxidizing agents are always reduced while the reducing agents are always oxidized. Iron, the reducing agent in the above instance was oxidized to rust.

2. Acidity

Acidity is the level of acid in a substance.

Acids can be defined in a variety of ways. They also have their specific physical properties and chemical properties.

Please read more on the Concept and Definitions of Acid here.

3. Burning

Burning is often referred to as combustion, although they aren't exactly the same thing. For instance, burning will always be accompanied with flames why combustion has no flame in its reaction.

Burning refers to an exothermic reaction (one that gives out heat) between a reducing agent (acting as fuel) and an oxidizing agent (typically oxygen). Flames are always seen during burning.

Without oxygen, burning will not occur. Similarly, without the substance to be burnt (fuel), burning will also not occur).

During burning, the reducing agent (fuel) is oxidized into a gaseous-like mixture referred to as smoke.

Please read on Gaseous State of Matter and their Characteristics here.

Note: Whatever undergoes burning will change into a new substance; and that's a chemical change.

You can read on Elements and their Characteristics here.

4. Chemical Reactions

Chemical reaction is the basis of the changes we see around us. In short, Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes they undergo.

A chemical reaction is said to occur when one or more substances (referred to as the reactants) are converted to one or more substances called the products through the rearrangement of their molecular or ionic structures.

You can read on Molecular Mass and Relative Molecular Mass here.

A chemical reaction brings about the rearrangement of the constituent atoms of the reactants in order to create a product with a different atomic structure.

Please read more on Dalton's Atomic Theory and its Modifications here.

5. Heat of Combustion

When substances undergo burning, heat is realeased. This makes heat an observable feature of burning.

You can read on the Concepts of Heat and Temperature here.

The heat of combustion is simply defined as the amount of heat released when a specific mass or volume of a substance is burned completely.

Note: The value dervived from heat of combustion is always negative. This is so because reactions that releases the heat of combustion are exothermic.

6. Enthalpy of Formation

The enthalpy of formation is also referred to as the heat of formation. A chemical change is always associated with the heat of formation because a new thing is formed after a chemical reaction had taken place.

The enthalpy of formation is defined as the change in heat released or absorbed during the the formation of one mole of the substance from its constituent elements at standard temperature (298K) and pressure (1 atm).

Note: The Standard International (SI) unit for enthalpy (or heat) of formation is KJ/mol.

7. Flammability

The flammability of a substance is a chemical property of matter and it refers to the ability of a substance to catch and sustain fire.

Substances made up of carbon are always flammable, for example, wood, plastic and rubber. In addition, fuels like korosene, petrol and methane (cooking gas) are considered to be highly flammable.

Please read more on the introduction to Hydrocarbons here.

Flammability Test is a procedure used in determining the ease or difficulty at which a material or finished product will ignite (or burn) when placed in a close range to fire or heat.

8. Toxicity

This is the degree to which a substance can harm living organisms. Such substances are referred to as toxic. Example of toxic substances include Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) and Carbon monoxide (CO).

Please read on the Characteristics of Living Organisms here.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Chemistry

The only letters that failed to appear on the periodic table are letters:

J     &     Q

Gold and copper are the only two non-silvery colored metals.

Please read some interesting facts about gold here

Copper is the only metal that is naturally antibacterial. This is why you would see some children utilize 'copper' water bottles in schools

Water actually freezes faster when it’s warm than when it’s cold

Most element in their pure state exists physically in different forms. For instance, pure carbon can exist as both diamond and graphite. This phenomenon is called allotropy.

Please read on modification of Dalton's atomic theory here.

If you pour a handful of salt into a full glass of water, the water level will go down rather than overflowing the glass.

Similarly, if you mix half liter of water and half litre of alcohol, the total volume of the liquid will be les than one litre


Gold ; Len Academy

Below are some facts about gold

  • It is the only metal that has a gold (golden) color.

  • Gold is present inside the earth crust in all the seven continents.

  • Pure gold is soft and very stretchable (It can even be stretched into threads).

  • The Latin name of Gold is aurum which means 'shining dawn'. For this reason, its chemical symbol is 'Au'.

  • Gold is a very good conductor of electricity. This is why it’s sometimes used in making USB and audio cables.

  • Gold is non toxic and can be eaten with food. It is sometimes added to desserts in some expensive restaurants.

  • The term Gold originated from an ancient English word 'geolu' which means yellow.

  • 24karat gold is the purest gold element.

Please read more interesting facts about gold here

An acid is a substance that produces Hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water (or when in the form of an aqueous solution).

Svante Arrhenius definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction.

Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that accept an electron pair in a chemical reaction.

Gilbert Newton Lewis definition of Acid


Finally, Acids can also be also defined as substances that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water.


In summary, all acids will always contain the positive H+ (cation) and an anionic group in their formula. For instance, the acid HCl (Hydrogen Chloride) contains H+ as cation and Cl- as its anion.

Please read the explanations of the above definitions of acid here