Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Henderson James Jim CleavesII
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_446-3



In chemistry, a disproportionation reaction is a type of chemical reaction in which two identical compounds react to form two or more new compounds of a dissimilar type. Usually, these involve reaction compounds containing an element in the same oxidation state reacting to form two compounds containing that element but with both higher and lower oxidation states, for example, in the Cannizzaro reaction with formaldehyde:
$$ 2\;\mathrm{H}\mathrm{CHO}\to \mathrm{HCOOH}+{\mathrm{CH}}_3\mathrm{O}\mathrm{H} $$


Oxidation State Bioorganic Chemistry Lower Oxidation Disproportionation Reaction Reaction Compound 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-kuTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Blue Marble Space Institute of ScienceWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Chemical EvolutionGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA