Combination Reaction Definition

Stylized combustion graphic
Some combustion reactions are combination reactions.

Jose A. Bernat Bacete, Getty Images

A combination reaction is a reaction where two reactants are combined into one product. A combination reaction is also known as a synthesis reaction. The reaction has the following general form:

X + Y → XY

Combination Reaction Examples

Recognize a combination reaction by examining the number of reactants and products. In this reaction, two reactants become a single product. Combination reaction may occur between two elements, two compounds, or between a compound and an element.

The burning of carbon in the presence of oxygen to produce carbon dioxide is a combination reaction:

C + O2 → CO2

Magnesium oxide combines with carbon dioxide to form magnesium carbonate in a combination reaction:

MgO + CO2 → MgCO3

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Combination Reaction Definition." ThoughtCo, Sep. 7, 2021, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, September 7). Combination Reaction Definition. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Combination Reaction Definition." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 29, 2023).