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THE REACTIVITY SERIES



The Reactivity Series

Reactivity Series Reaction with water Reaction with dilute Reaction with oxygen
acids
Potassium
Sodium React quickly with cold
Lithium water
Calcium
R
E Magnesium React with dilute acids
A Aluminium
C Zinc React with oxygen
T Iron
I Nickel
V Tin
I
T Lead…

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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…

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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…

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