Difference Between Synthesis and Decomposition

Synthesis vs Decomposition

Difference between synthesis and decomposition has a high scientific value as synthesis and decomposition are one of the most important types of chemical reactions to occur in the nature. A chemical reaction is defined as the formation or breaking of chemical bonds between atoms to form new combinations of atoms. The atoms or combination of atoms involved in a chemical reaction is referred to as reactants and the newly formed substances are known as products. All the chemical reactions occur in the biological system are categorized into four types; synthesis reactions, decomposition reactions, exchange reactions, and reversible reactions. In this article, the difference between synthesis and decomposition will be discussed broadly.

What is Synthesis?

A synthesis is defined as the process of the formation of new bonds between the reactants to form a new product . The newly formed product is entirely different from the reactants of the reaction. A simple synthesis reaction can be written as follows.

A + B → AB

In this example, the reactants are A and B and the product is AB. In biological systems, the synthesis reactions are important for the growth of body structures and the repair of damaged tissues. The main requirement of the synthesis is the formation of new bonds and it always requires energy. Body’s synthesis reactions are collectively called anabolism.

Difference Between Synthesis and Decomposition

What is Decomposition?

Decomposition is the process of breaking bonds within the reactants to yield new products. As per the definition, the main requirement of the decomposition is breaking of chemical bonds. A simple decomposition reaction can be written as follows.

AB → A + B

Here, the reactant is AB and the products are A and B. Unlike synthesis, decomposition reactions result in the emission of energy. Hence, the decomposition reactions in the body mainly occur for the purpose of generating energy. For example, cells in the body obtain energy by decomposition of glucose (reactant) resulting water and carbon dioxide as products. The energy released by breaking the bonds of glucose molecules are used in all cellular activities. Body’s decomposition reactions are collectively called catabolism.

What are the differences between Synthesis and Decomposition?

• Decomposition is the opposite of synthesis.

• Synthesis is the process of the formation of new bonds between reactants to form new products, whereas decomposition is the breaking of chemical bonds within reactants to form different products.

• Synthesis requires energy, whereas decomposition release energy.

• Decomposition reactions are collectively called catabolism, whereas synthesis reactions are called anabolism.

• Synthesis involved in the growth of body parts and repair body tissues. Decomposition takes place during the digestion of foods.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Clonidine Synthesis by  Yid (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Don Fortier

    Needs editing for proper English. Verbs have number: singular and plural, and the noun synthesis does not use an article A.