Metals, their reactivity and ores
- An ore is something, usually a compound, which contains enough metal so that it is economically viable to extract.
- Gold is found native in the Earth's crust.
- Most metals are found in the Earth's crust as compounds.
- The reactivity series controls the method used to extract a metal from its ore
- The reactivity series is:- Potassium, Sodium, Lithium, Calcium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Carbon, Zinc, Iron, Tin, Lead, Copper, Silver, Gold, Platinum
- Displacement, smelting and electrolysis are used to extract metals.
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- A blast furnace is used to extract iron.
- Iron is extracted from iron oxide.
- This is a displacement reaction, but it is also a reduction reaction, because carbon displaces the iron and the oxygen is removed.
- Carbon and oxygen are needed for the reaction.
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- Pure iron is very brittle and the layers of atoms slide over each other easily.
- Steel is the name given to an alloy of iron.
- Stainless steel is used for cutlery and is hard, strong an corrosion resistant.
- Low ally tungsten steel is used for high speed drills and works well at high temperatures.
- Low alloy nickel steel is used for bridges and is resistant to stretching.
- High carbon steel is used for hammers and is very strong.
- High alloy chromium steel is used for chemical reaction vessels and is chemically stable.
- Low carbon steel is used for car bodies and bends easily, as well as being hard to shatter.
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- An alloy is made up of 2 or more metals and uses the properties of each to its advantage.
- Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is strong. It is used to make many items e.g. musical instruments, door knockers etc.
- Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin and is strong and hardwearing.
- White gold is an alloy of gold and nickel and is hard and strong. It is used for jewellery.
- Pink gold is an alloy of gold and copper and looks attractive. It is used in jewellery.
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- Transition metals are found in the middle of the periodic table, between groups 2 and 3.
- Some common transition metals are gold (Au), titanium (Ti), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), silver (Ag), iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and platinum (Pt).
- Transition metals are good thermal and electrical conductors, ductile, malleable and sonorous.
- Copper wires are used because copper is a good conductor of electricity.
- Transition metals are used to maake saucepans because they are good conductors of heat.
- Tinfoil is made with transition metals because they are ductile.
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Extraction and Purification of copper
- Copper is a good electrical conductor so is useful for wiring.
- It has a high resistance to corrosion so is useful for pipes in plumbing.
- In electrolysis of copper, there are several points:
- An electric current is passed through the copper compound (usually copper sulphate) via two carbon electrodes.
- Positive copper ions move to the negative electrode and form pure copper.
- Negative sulphur ions move to the positive electrode and sulphur gas is released.
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Advantages: Recycling Metals
- Provides jobs and income
- Saves energy
- Produces less air pollution
- Leads to improvement of facilities
- Less pressure on the environment
- Less use of limited resources
- Enables us to do and make great things
- Provides materials for industry
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Disadvantages: Recycling Metals
- Creates objects which are hard to destroy
- Destroys landscape
- Depends on support from people and available facilities
- Causes loss of tourism
- Causes noise, visual, dust and traffic pollution
- Relies on collection of materials
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Aluminium and titanium
- Both these metals are light, strong, resistant to corrosion and good conductors of heat and electricity.
- Cans, cooking foil, aeroplanes and power cables are made from aluminium.
- Aircraft, nuclear reactors, racing bikes and hip replacements are made from titanium.
- Aluminium is extracted from its ore by electrolysis.
- Titanium is extracted by displacement with carbon, sodium or magnesium.
- Both methods use electrolysis (sodium and magnesium are extracted in this way) so a lot of energy and money is used up.
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