Obtaining and using metals

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  • Created by: sawdahb
  • Created on: 04-10-15 13:54

Sources of metals

Rocks And Minerals: 

Minerals are mixtures of compounds found within the Earth's crust. Minerals containing metals are called ores. Ores are mined from the Earth's crust and the metals are extracted from them. Some metals are unreactive and can be found in it's pure form such as gold.


The cost of producing metals depend on three factors:

  • The availability of the ore
  • The method of extraction
  • The amount of metal within the ore.
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sources of metals continued

There are two main methods of extraction:

  • chemical reduction- The crushed metal ore is heated in the presence of carbon and the carbon reacts with oxygen removing it from the ore.
  • Electrolysis- The crushed metal ore is melted and an electrical current is passed through it.

In order to find out the method to use to extract a metal the reactivity series was made and elements were arranged in order of their reactivity compared to carbon. If it is less reactive than carbon chemical reduction will be used. If it's more reactive than Carbon electrolysis will be used.

Reactivity series- Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Carbon, Zinc, Iron, Lead, Copper, Silver, Gold.

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