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WikiProject Chemistry (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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hydrolyzed/hydrolyze versus hydrolysed/hydrolyse[edit]

I noticed both forms are used in this article. Hydrolysis is the cutting of water molecules in chemical reactions. (talk) 20:50, 12 October 2015 (UTC) I just thought I would point it out as I'm not sure which is correct. I could only find hydrolyze in Webster's dictionary (U.S. English,, but both forms are found in the Oxford English Dictionary (U.K. English,, although hydrolyse seems to be the primary form with hydrolyze listed as a variant in the latter. Whatever is decided, presumably it would be better to consistently use one form. Jkwan (talk) 16:23, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

You're right, Jkwan. I believe "hydrolyze" is the American form. WP:ENGVAR suggests we stick with the spelling used by the first major contributor to the article, but this article's early contributors cunningly never used the verbs ([1]). So I suggest we make things as easy as we can for people who have English as their second language by going with "hydrolyse", given that "hydrolysis" is never spelled with a z. A short note about spelling differences could be included in the lead, as at Mold. Any objections? Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 02:49, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Alternatively, the entire article could be reworded to avoid the verbs, as an IP just did ([2]). Sounds forced in parts though. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 12:27, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Not feasible to remove "hydrolyse" altogether. It is an integral part of the concept of "hydrolysis". "Hydrolyse" is an English spelling. In school we tend to use that but otherwise (as on Wikipedia) American spellings are given more importance. I motion we use "hydrolyse" entirely. You're right Adrian J. Hunter, since it is in "hydrolysis". Neeya The Great (talk) 10:05, 22 May 2011 (UTC)Neeya The Great

hydrolysis of cellulose[edit]

I'd like some info about the hydrolysis of cellulose ;) and some about hydrochloric acid hydrolysing disaccharides into constituent monosaccharides —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

use language, not formulas[edit]

This article should include historical narration of who first discovered hydrolysis. What were they trying to achieve that day (Was there some secondary issue which was on their agenda that day?) When was hydrogen first isolated as a substance and by who? why was that person embarked on his agenda that day? What does the machinery look like which does hydrolysis today? What are the contours and interactions of it's chambers? In what kinds of organizations and businesses in our country is this machinery found? What is this vision that our leaders have for hydrogen based technology in the future of our society? What are the specific hurdles which need to be mulled? What kinds of changes to our way of life would occur that day?

In general, context for all manner of ideas and subject matter is exceedingly vital.

My mother was an editor of a medical journal when I was growing up, and I was so astonished at all the speculation which desired to pass itself off as science. This is a different issue altogether, but the reason that scientists are able to speak in terms the common man cannot understand, is that they aren't accountable to anybody who can't understand the symbols they're using to describe their ideas.

All these letters and numbers in the formulas are symbolic and representative of other things... And if one is communicating with the general public, it would be wise to communicate with symbols that they understand.

There's a place for mathematics in the hard sciences, just as there is in the field of engineering... In fact, mathematics was designed to be a way to communicate about ratios and methodology... But there also ought to be people who will explain these guild issues in a language and with words which the common ear can comprehend. Communication, by definition, is only achieved if the person who speaks or writes uses symbols which the person who reads can understand.

I remember my college science classes - I see how students learn to mime to each other in these symbols which they don't understand necessarily... they graduate from college without ever really fully grasping the base level ideas behind all the mumbo jumbo.

For instance, a journalist is being irresponsible when he speaks of the events in current day Iraq, or Afghanistan without putting the whole thing into a historical context...

A scientist also needs to be able to put his thoughts into context as he presents his ideas. Historical, cultural, physical, technological applications, future vision, etcetera. Rainbird 21:57, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

These are good points, this article needs a lot of work, including some more general information and some simpler material. The article also lacks breadth. If you look at the history, it began as a very technical & very narrow article. Once we get it to be a full-length article that material will look more reasonable, but at this point it looks poor. Please help us out as you can, and the chemistry WikiProject also has this article as one of its targets for improvement (over the next year or two). Thanks for the suggestions, they will help. Walkerma 17:33, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


Can someone briefly illustrate the hydrolysis of ATP? It the Lactic Acid article it states that H+ ion release during ATP hydrolysis is primarily responsible for the 'burn' felt during exercise. Can someone confirm this and elaborate?

diagram wrong[edit]

the quote :"For example, aluminium chloride undergoes extensive hydrolysis in water, such that the pH of the solution become quite acidic:" does not tally with the diagram shown which is NOT of Aluminium Chloride

ATP is "Atmospheric pressure, temperature" standard terminology used for explaining chemical reaction at room temperature and 1 atmospheric pressure"

Are you sure they are not referring to Adenosine TriPhosphate and its breakdown during metabolism? (talk) 13:18, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Too strict definition[edit]

The current introduction to the article reads

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction or process in which a molecule is split into two parts by reacting with a molecule of water, which has the chemical formula H2O. One of the parts gets an OH- from the water molecule and the other part gets an H+ from the water.

This seems to me like a rather strict definition. Can someone confirm if this is right? Maybe add some sources? Is it not hydrolysis if the compound si split into three parts? Does it have to react with only one molecule of water? --Tunheim 08:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

The def. given here ( ) is not that strict.... --Tunheim 08:38, 23 January 2007 (UTC)


I notice specific definitions of hydrolysis within organic, inorganic, bio-, and electro- chemistries in this article, but I was wondering if nuclear should be included because I believe many years ago an electrolysis experiment involving either D2O or T2O was perform for “cold fusion”. Since they are an isotope of hydrogen, would this fall into a nuclear category of hydrolysis even if cold fusion doesn’t exist? Is it even hydrolysis? Is it just another form of electrochemistry? Or, am I way off-base? Lawrenceallie (talk) 02:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

      • Regarding this: Much money was put into a research project involving fusion of water by electrolytic methods. It was crockery. The "scientist" were basing an assumption off the nernst equation. They had the the idea that with enough current the T would exceed Tcrit etc. (dont use models you dont understand i believe is the take home point here.)

-a physical chemist — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Irreversibility of hydrolysis under physiological conditions[edit]

Can someone give a reason why the numbers quoted here are reasonable, and hence lead to a fairly universal result? For example, why k = 1 molar? (talk) 20:56, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


Hydrosis is NOT hydrolysis. What a joke. Hydrosis is when you sweat. Hydrolysis is when you break down by water. (talk) 17:34, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Cationic, Anionic and Cationic-Anionic Not Thoroughly Explained[edit]

I feel, as a student, when we start to laern about something we should be using the easiest examples first. Yet here, I find everyone jumping off to polysaccharides, amines, and complexes! Shouldn't we devote a little more of the article to actually explaining Anionic, Cationic and Anionic-Cationic Hydrolyses? As they form a more important part in both Physical as well as Inorganic chemistry. What we're focusing on here currently is a very Organic based approach to an inherently Physical concept. So maybe we should start with simpler reactions used more generally such as - A+ + H2O ↔ AOH + H+ (Cationic Hydrolysis) Or what we term as Acid-Base reactions ... involving WASB, WBSA, WBWA, SASB... And give their mechanisms as well as proofs to calculate pH and kh ...? Neeya The Great (talk) 10:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)Neeya The Great

First line inadequate[edit]

The first line of a lemma IMHO should define a concise, self-contained definition. While hydrolysis may eventually involve the split of water into ions, that is not the essence of hydrolysis. The first line udner "Types" is a better defintion. Rbakels (talk) 10:14, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Just plain wrong[edit]

1) Bonds do not rupture. They may, however, "cleave" or “break” in a few ways

  • you may cleave a bond adiabatically or diabatically (typically only a concern for quantum statisticians)
  • Bonds may cleave homolytically or heterolytically indicating whether open or closed shell species are formed.

In all my years of chemistry I have never seen a bond rupture. I cannot even figure out what that process would look like.

2)The bonds do not cleave due to addition of water. The explanation here could be misinterpreted as a description of other processes. E.g. solvation of solids.

3) “Usually hydrolysis is a chemical process in which a molecule of water molecule adds to a substance”

  • nope (this VERY poor generalization)

Hydrolysis is the lewis acid/base or bronsted lowry acid/base reaction which takes place between a water molecule and a reactant molecule (or atom/ion) causing the dissociation of the water molecule into H+ and OH- and subsequent association with the reactant molecule/s (or atom/ion). The diagram for the amid looks like it depicts this event fairly well! If this reaction occurs with salts in aqueous solution, a change in pH shall be observed.

4) Hydrolysis is the lewis acid/base or bronsted lowry acid/base reaction which takes place between a water molecule and a reactant molecule causing the dissociation of the water molecule into H+ and OH- As stated above.

Well. That’s a critique of the first 4 sentences. If you are a chem student trying to understand this for a test or an individual interested in the sciences, read this with extreme caution and take it with a grain of salt. (talk) 16:59, 21 June 2012 (UTC) warren

Ah, the fleeting joy of smugness... Wikipedia is imperfect to be sure, and one would be naive to rely on it. It is composed by distracted or dottering professionals as well as kids practicing their their hobby. Wikipedia also provides a sounding board for snotty folks who point out our collective fallability. Eventually the kids and the old losers get their acts together and upgrade the articles in response to remarks such as yours. Here is a starting point from IUPAC.
IUPAC for "hydrolysis": Solvolysis by water.
IUPAC for "solvolysis": Generally, reaction with a solvent, or with a lyonium ion or lyate ion involving the rupture of one or more bonds in the reacting solute. More specifically the term is used for substitution elimination and fragmentation reactions in which a solvent species is the nucleophile ('alcoholysis' if the solvent is an alcohol, etc.). --Smokefoot (talk) 17:42, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

OK, now I'm confused[edit]

I could swear that when I was at school, the production of hydrogen (and oxygen) from water was called Hydrolysis.

The internet and certainly wikipedia isn't backing me up on this, though.

Assuming I haven't fallen through a wormhole into a universe where that process simply doesn't exist, what the heck is the actual (or modern?) term for that, then? (talk) 14:12, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Is this article mixing two different subjects that have the same name?[edit]

It seems to me that the hydrolysis of a polysacharide is barely the same subject as the hydrolysis that occurs with metal aqua ions. If these two types of hydrolysis are to be in the same article I think that the intro needs to make it clearer all the things that the word (and article) "hydrolysis" encompases. I am learning this subject myself, and do not yet understand it well enough to make suggested changes myself. ike9898 (talk) 15:13, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Hydrolysis of bi-salts[edit]

I was wondering what would happen if we hydrolyse NaHSO4 or NaHCO3.... The fact that these are bi-salts or acid salts-- does it affect the pH of resultant solution. .... like Na2SO4 solution is neutral. .... will NaHSO4 solution be slightly acidic? I think such a section should be added to the page...... ND properly answered Fractal sam (talk) 14:58, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Hydrolysis/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

rated top as high school/SAT biology content, fundamental biochemical reaction of many enzymes - tameeria 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC) This article needs a section on biology/biochemistry, e.g. enzymatic hydrolysis, ATP hydrolysis = energy within cells etc. - tameeria 18:27, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 18:27, 18 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 18:34, 29 April 2016 (UTC)