Introduction Metals vary considerably in their reactivity. Some metals react with water at room temperature. Other metals with hot water or steam. Many metals do not react with water at all. Will metals that are unreactive with water react with dilute acids? Does a given metal react the same way with all dilute acids? This experiment compares the reactions of various metals in three different dilute acids. By observing their behaviour, you will be able to rank the metals according to their reactivity.
PROBLEM How do the reactions of various metals in dilute acids compare?
APPARATUS 5 (18 x 150
mm) test tubes test tube rack
aluminum foil calcium turnings
copper foil magnesium ribbon
'mossy' zinc 1 mol/L hydrochloric acid
wooden splints 1 mol/L acetic acid
1 mol /L sulphuric acid
|Metals||Reaction with Hydrochloric Acid||Reaction with Sulphuric Acid||Reactions with Acetic Acid|
a) Did all of the metals tested react with dilute
hydrochloric acid? Rank the metals in order of their reactivity.
b) In reactions that produced a gas, was the same gas formed in each case? Identify the gas. Where did the gas come from?
c) Compare the reactivity of each metal in the three different acids. Is there any difference in the vigor of the reactions in the different acids? Do you notice any pattern?
d) Compare the order of reactivity of the metals in each of the acids. Did you rank the metals in the same order with each acid?
e) When metals react with acids, two products are produced. One is a gas and the other is a salt. Write a general word equation for the reaction of a metal with an acid. Include the name of the gas produced.
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