Definition of Hydrolysis

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which the water is added into a substance. This addition of water leads to the splitting of the substance as well as the water molecule into two parts. The water molecule breaks into H+ and OH- ions. One part of the parent molecule then forms a link with hydrogen ion and the other part with hydroxide ion.


This is a broad term that is used normally for several chemical processes like solvation, substitution, elimination, etc. in all these reactions, water acts as a nucleophile (nucleus loving, electron-donating). Hydrolysis is the reverse reaction of condensation. Many biological molecules such as carbohydrates when breaking down lead to the removal of water molecule/s.

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