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Hydrolysis Reactions

Hydrolysis reactions the result of a chemical reaction where one or more of the water molecules get split into hydrogen and hydroxide ions. After they are split they have the ability to go on and continue to indulge in further reactions. Hydrolysis reactions are used in the breaking down of certain polymers, and are usually catalyses by an acid type chemical. A hydrolysis reaction should not be confused with hydration or hydrogenolysis. Hydration molecules do not break apart into two new compounds, while hydrogenolysis is a reaction of hydrogen.

The hydrolysis reaction is a process where a molecule is divided into two separate parts when a water molecule is added. One piece of the original molecule gets an extra hydrogen ion from the added water molecule. The other gathers the remaining group of hydroxyl. Avery common type of hydrolysis reactions happen when a salt of a weak base, or weak acid are dissolved in water. The water autoionizes into negative hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions. The result is the salt being broken down into positive and negative ions.

For the most part, there are only a few instances where water and any organic compound will create a reaction. Most of the time an acid base will have to be added in order for any hydrolysis reactions to occur. The acid is the catalyst that helps to speed up the reaction, and they are usually later retrieved at the end. An example of hydrolysis, that has been around the longest, is a process called saponification. This is the fat or triglyceride with an aqueous base element such as sodium hydroxide. During the process the glycerol is formed and a reaction takes place between the fatty acids and the base element, resulting in the conversion to salt.

Another very common hydrolysis reaction is by using an acid base as the catalyst. The nucleophile, or a nucleus seeking agent such as water or hydroxyl ion, attacks the carbon element of the carbonyl group of the ester. In using an aqueous base the hydroxyl ions make better nucleus seeking agents. With an acid base the carbonyl group tends to become protonated which leads to an easier nucleophilic attack.

Energy metabolism and storage in plants and animals is the most significant example of hydrolysis reactions. In order for any living cell to survive, they must continually have a supply of energy. There are two main reasons why. It is essential for the transport of ions and molecules through out the membranes and also for the biosynthesis of the macromolecules. The energy that is gained from the oxidation of the nutrients is not used immediately, but rather it is used and distributed in a very long and complex sequence of different reactions. The special storage unit that it is pushed into is called the adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition to the living systems, the majority of biochemical reactions taking place do so during the catalyst of enzymes. These also include ATP hydrolysis reaction. Another example is the proteasers which are the enzymes responsible for aiding in the digestion process.

. n addition, in living systems, most biochemical reactions, including ATP hydrolysis, take place during the catalysis of enzymes. The catalytic action of enzymes allows the hydrolysis of proteins, fats, oils, and carbohydrates. As an example, one may consider proteases, enzymes that aid digestion by hydrolyzing peptide bonds in proteins. They catalyze the hydrolysis of interior peptide bonds in peptide chains, as opposed to exopeptidases, another class of enzymes, that catalyze the hydrolysis of terminal peptide bonds, liberating one free amino acid at a time.

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