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Dehydration reaction

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Definition

noun, plural: dehydration reactions

A chemical reaction whereby a water molecule is lost, such as that during the synthesis of an organic compound


Supplement

In biology and chemistry, synthesis is the process of creating an organic compound especially through the aid of enzymes. One way of creating such compounds is through the loss of water molecules, a process loosely called dehydration. A dehydration reaction, therefore, would be a form of biochemical reaction wherein a water molecule is lost or removed from the reacting molecule. Dehydration synthesis, in particular, is the building up of compounds or molecules by losing water molecules. In particular, it is a type of condensation reaction in which the monomers join together into polymers while losing water molecules. This process is carried out by losing (-OH) from one of the monomers and (H) from another monomer. The two unstable monomers join together, and the (-OH) and (H) combine forming water (H2O). For example, A-OH + B-H → AB + HOH

In contrast, the addition of a water molecule into a compound or a substance is called hydration reaction. Hydrolysis, in particular, is the process of combining water molecule with a compound, e.g. a disaccharide, which when hydrolyzed reverts to becoming two monosaccharides.


Word origin: dehydrate: to lose or remove water + Latin, synthesis: composition

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