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What happens in a condensation reaction?

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Quick Answer

In a condensation reaction, two reactants react to form water or ammonia and one other byproduct. As long as either water or ammonia is formed and is the only byproduct, a reaction is considered a condensation reaction. A condensation reaction is not to be confused with the process called condensation, where water vapor turns to liquid after losing heat.

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What happens in a condensation reaction?
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Full Answer

The two reactants will combine to form a longer and more complex molecule in a condensation reaction. When water is the other byproduct, one reactant molecule typically loses a single hydrogen atom, while the other loses both a hydrogen and an oxygen atom. A similar process happens in other condensation reactions, but with an extra hydrogen atom lost and a nitrogen atom in place of oxygen.

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