What is a precipitation reaction? Provide an example and identify the precipitate.
Precipitation reactions occur when cations and anions in aqueous solution combine to form an insoluble ionic solid called a precipitate. Such a reaction occurs can be determined by using the solubility rules for common ionic solids. Because not all aqueous reactions form precipitates, one must consult the solubility rules before determining the state of the products and writing a net ionic equation. The ability to predict these reactions allows scientists to determine which ions are present in a solution, and allows industries to form chemicals by extracting components from these reactions.