Chemical Properties of Matter

Explanation and Examples

Illustration of examples of chemical properties of matter.


Chemical properties are any of the properties of matter that can be observed and measured only by performing a chemical change or chemical reaction. Chemical properties cannot be determined by touching or viewing a sample; the structure of the sample must be altered for the chemical properties to become apparent.


Here are some examples of chemical properties:

  • Reactivity with other chemicals
  • Toxicity
  • Coordination number
  • Flammability
  • Enthalpy of formation
  • Heat of combustion
  • Oxidation states
  • Chemical stability
  • Types of chemical bonds that will form
  • More examples


Scientists use chemical properties to predict whether a sample will participate in a chemical reaction. Chemical properties can be used to classify compounds and find applications for them.

Understanding a material's chemical properties helps in its purification, separation from other chemicals, or identification in an unknown sample.

Chemical Properties Vs. Physical Properties

While a chemical property is revealed only by the behavior of a substance in a chemical reaction, a physical property can be observed and measured without changing the composition of a sample. Physical properties include color, pressure, length, and concentration.