What is an example of a precipitation reaction that is used in everyday life or in the industry?

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ncchemist's profile pic

ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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A reaction that forms a precipitate is one in which two different solutions are mixed, thus forming a particular product that is not soluble in the solvent and crashes out, or precipitates, as a solid which can be filtered out of the solvent.  One particular precipitation reaction that is used in industry for a medical application is the formation of barium sulfate from barium chloride and sodium sulfate.  The reaction is outlined below.

BaCl2 + Na2SO4 --> BaSO4 + 2NaCl

The barium chloride and sodium sulfate both completely dissolve in water, but when the two solutions are mixed, barium sulfate will precipitate out as a solid.  Barium sulfate is utilized in the medical imaging industry because it absorbs x-rays effectively and can show up in the body during an imaging scan.

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wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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Firstly, a precipitation reaction is when two acqueous substances are mixed to produce an acqueous substance and an insoluble solid. 

A common reaction used in industry is the mixing of sodium carbonate with calcium nitrate to produce sodium nitrate (soluble) and calcium carbonate (the precipitate);

Na2CO3 + Ca(NO3)2 --> Na2(NO3)2 + CaCO3