CHEM - Metal Reactivity Series
Chemistry, metals, reactivity series - IGCSE | IBDP | DSE | GCE | AP Chemistry
🚨 Frequently asked in IGCSE Chemistry 🚨
Reactivity Series Based on Water and Dilute Acid
A displacement reaction happens when a more reactive metal displaces a less reactive metal.
I. Displacement Reactions of Metal Oxides
CuO + Mg → MgO + Cu
The more reactive magnesium displaces copper from copper oxide.
ZnO + Ca → CaO + Zn
The more reactive calcium displaces zinc from zinc oxide.
Na2O + Mg → no reaction
The less reactive magnesium cannot displace sodium, so no reaction happens.
II. Displacement Reactions of Salts
CuSO4 + Zn → ZnSO4 + Cu
The more reactive zinc displaces copper from copper sulfate.
Pb + 2AgNO3 → Pb(NO3)2 + 2Ag
The more reactive lead displaces silver from silver nitrate.
Cu + CaCl2 → no reaction
The less reactive copper cannot displace calcium, so no reaction occurs.
👇Questions from past IGCSE Chemistry exams 👇
This question is about the reactions of some metals and their compounds. A student adds a sample of four metals R, S, T and U separately to water and to dilute sulfuric acid. The table shows the observations in each experiment.
(a) State two properties of the metals that the student should keep the same in all of the experiments in order to compare their reactivity.
(b) Place the metals in order of decreasing reactivity.
The thermite reaction is used on railways to produce molten iron for joining rails together. The equation for this thermite reaction is
2Al + Fe2O3 → Al2O3 + 2Fe
What does this reaction show about the reactivity of iron compared to the reactivity of aluminium?
A student carries out an investigation to compare the reactivities of four metals, aluminium, copper, zinc and M. He adds strips of zinc to the aqueous solutions of the nitrates of each metal. After a few minutes he removes the strips of zinc and examines them. The table shows his results.
(a) Explain why there is a brown coating on zinc for copper(II) nitrate solution.
Zinc is more reactive than copper, so zinc displaces copper from its salt. The products of the reaction are zinc nitrate and copper.
Zn + Cu(NO3)2 → Cu + Zn(NO3)2
Copper is the substance that causes brown coating on zinc.
(b) State why there is no change in the experiment with aluminum nitrate solution.
Zinc is less reactive than aluminum, so zinc cannot displace aluminum from its salt, and no reaction happens.
(c) The student repeats the experiment with strips of metal M instead of strips of zinc. The table shows his results.
Using information from both tables of results, place the metals aluminium, copper, zinc and M in order of decreasing reactivity.
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