Chemical property
A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

. Simply speaking, chemical properties cannot be determined just by viewing or touching the substance; the substance's internal structure
Chemical structure
A chemical structure includes molecular geometry, electronic structure and crystal structure of molecules. Molecular geometry refers to the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule and the chemical bonds that hold the atoms together. Molecular geometry can range from the very simple, such as...

 must be affected for its chemical properties to be investigated.

Chemical properties can be contrasted with physical properties, which can be discerned without changing the substance's structure. However, for many properties within the scope of physical chemistry
Physical chemistry
Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of physical laws and concepts...

, and other disciplines at the border of chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 and physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, the distinction may be a matter of researcher's perspective
Perspective (cognitive)
Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another...

. Material properties, both physical and chemical, can be viewed as supervenient; i.e., secondary to the underlying reality. Several layers of superveniency are possible.

Chemical properties can be used for building chemical classification
Chemical classification
Chemical classification systems attempt to classify as elements or compounds according to certain chemical functional or structural properties. Whereas the structural properties are largely intrinsic, functional properties and the derived classifications depend to a certain degree on the type of...

s. They can also be useful to identify an unknown substance or to separate or purify it from other substances. Materials science
Materials science
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates...

 will normally consider the chemical properties of a substance to guide its applications.

Examples of chemical properties

  • Reactivity
  • Heat of combustion
    Heat of combustion
    The heat of combustion is the energy released as heat when a compound undergoes complete combustion with oxygen under standard conditions. The chemical reaction is typically a hydrocarbon reacting with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, water and heat...

  • Enthalpy of formation
  • Toxicity
    Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage a living or non-living organisms. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell or an organ , such as the liver...

  • Chemical stability
    Chemical stability
    Chemical stability when used in the technical sense in chemistry, means thermodynamic stability of a chemical system.Thermodynamic stability occurs when a system is in its lowest energy state, or chemical equilibrium with its environment. This may be a dynamic equilibrium, where individual atoms...

     in a given environment
  • Flammability
    Flammability is defined as how easily something will burn or ignite, causing fire or combustion. The degree of difficulty required to cause the combustion of a substance is quantified through fire testing. Internationally, a variety of test protocols exist to quantify flammability...

  • Preferred oxidation state
    Oxidation state
    In chemistry, the oxidation state is an indicator of the degree of oxidation of an atom in a chemical compound. The formal oxidation state is the hypothetical charge that an atom would have if all bonds to atoms of different elements were 100% ionic. Oxidation states are typically represented by...

  • Coordination number
    Coordination number
    In chemistry and crystallography, the coordination number of a central atom in a molecule or crystal is the number of its nearest neighbours. This number is determined somewhat differently for molecules and for crystals....

  • Capability to undergo a certain set of transformations, for example molecular dissociation
    Dissociation (chemistry)
    Dissociation in chemistry and biochemistry is a general process in which ionic compounds separate or split into smaller particles, ions, or radicals, usually in a reversible manner...

    , chemical combination, redox reactions under certain physical conditions in the presence of another chemical substance
  • Preferred types of chemical bonds to form, for example metallic, ion
    An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

    ic, covalent

For example, hydrogen has the potential to ignite and explode given the right conditions. This is a chemical property.

Zinc reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce hydrogen gas. This is a chemical property.

See also

  • Physical property
    Physical property
    A physical property is any property that is measurable whose value describes a physical system's state. The changes in the physical properties of a system can be used to describe its transformations ....

  • Chemical structure
    Chemical structure
    A chemical structure includes molecular geometry, electronic structure and crystal structure of molecules. Molecular geometry refers to the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule and the chemical bonds that hold the atoms together. Molecular geometry can range from the very simple, such as...

  • Material properties
  • Radioactive Decay
  • Biological activity
    Biological activity
    In pharmacology, biological activity or pharmacological activity describes the beneficial or adverse effects of a drug on living matter. When a drug is a complex chemical mixture, this activity is exerted by the substance's active ingredient or pharmacophore but can be modified by the other...

  • Quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR)
  • Lipinski's Rule of Five
    Lipinski's Rule of Five
    Lipinski's Rule of Five is a rule of thumb to evaluate druglikeness or determine if a chemical compound with a certain pharmacological or biological activity has properties that would make it a likely orally active drug in humans. The rule was formulated by Christopher A...

    , describing molecular properties of drugs
  • is a free chemical structure miner and web search engine developed and owned by ChemAxon. The main purpose of is to identify chemical names on websites and convert them to chemical structures...

    :List of predicted structure based properties
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