The Reactivity Series

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The Reactivity Series
Reactivity Series Reaction with water Reaction with dilute Reaction with oxygen
Sodium React quickly with cold
Lithium water
E Magnesium React with dilute acids
A Aluminium
C Zinc React with oxygen
T Iron
I Nickel
V Tin
T Lead
Y Copper
React quickly with
steam but react slowly
with cold water
Do not react with cold Do not react with dilute
water or steam acids
Do not react with
Displacement Reactions of Metals

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The reactivity series can be used to make predictions about other reactions of metals. For example, a
chemical reaction occurs when an iron nail is placed in a solution of copper sulphate. The main evidence
that a chemical change has taken place is that the nail becomes coated with copper metal.
This is called a displacement reaction. The copper is displaced from the copper sulphate solution, and the
iron replaces it. Copper metal and iron sulphate are produced.…read more

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This is a decomposition reaction as the copper carbonate is broken down. Most metal carbonates break
down when heated to produce similar products. A general word equation for decomposition is:
Heat energy
Metal carbonate = metal oxygen + carbon dioxide
Using the Reactivity Series
It is sometimes difficult to compare the reactivity of metals by using their reactions with oxygen, water
and acids. Using displacement reactions is the easiest way to produce the reactivity series.…read more


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