Condensation Reaction Definition in Chemistry

What Is a Condensation Reaction?

Condensation reactions in ribosomes are responsible for amino acid biosynthesis.
Condensation reactions in ribosomes are responsible for amino acid biosynthesis. Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

A condensation reaction is a chemical reaction between two compounds where one of the products is water, ethanol, acetic acid, hydrogen sulfide, or ammonia. A condensation reaction is also known as a dehydration reaction. This type of reaction forms an addition product and water in the presence of a catalyst or under acidic or basic conditions.

The opposite of a condensation reaction is a hydrolysis reaction.

Condensation Reaction Examples

Reactions that produce acid anhydrides are condensation reactions. For example: acetic acid (CH3COOH) forms acetic anhydride ((CH3CO)2O) and water by the condensation reaction

2 CH3COOH → (CH3CO)2O + H2O

Condensation reactions are also involved in the production of many polymers. In organisms, biosynthesis reactions form peptide bonds between amino acids and are involved in fatty acid formation.

Examples of named condensation reactions include aldol condensation, Dieckman condensation, Clasien condensation, and Knoevenagel condensation reactions.

Sources

  • Bruckner, Reinhard (2002). Advanced Organic Chemistry (First ed.). San Diego, California: Harcourt Academic Press. pp. 414–427. ISBN 0-12-138110-2.
  • "Condensation Reaction". IUPAC Copendium of Chemical Terminology (Gold Book). IUPAC.
  • Voet, Donald; Voet, Judith; Pratt, Chriss (2008). Fundamentals of Biochemistry. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 88. ISBN 978-0470-12930-2.