Reactions of Alkali Metals

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  • Created by: OxSarah
  • Created on: 30-04-15 14:51

Reactions of alkali metals

All alkali metals react vigorously with cold water. In each reaction, hydrogen gas is given off and the metal hydroxide is produced. The speed and violence of the reaction increases as you go down the group. This shows that the reactivity of the alkali metals increases as you go down group 1.


When lithium is added to water, it floats. It fizzes steadily and becomes smaller, until it eventually disappears.

lithium + water → lithium hydroxide + hydrogen

2Li(s) + 2H2O(l) → 2LiOH(aq) + H2(g)


When sodium is added to water, it melts to form a ball that moves around on the surface. It fizzes rapidly, and the hydrogen produced may burn with an orange flame before the sodium disappears.

sodium + water → sodium hydroxide…


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