Online Experimentation Development Elementary Articles, 25 Nov 2013 We are making improvements to our online experimentation microsite which I hope many of you will have seen and used...
A big thank you for your data on the Global Experiment Elementary Articles, 19 Nov 2013 It’s Chemistry Week! Hooray! Thanks to all who have taken part in the Global Experiment so far your...
Re: End of term / time for brainteasers
David Everett: The real reactivity of aluminium I believe the oxide coating which normally protects aluminium metal is removed when immersed in a solution containing chloride ions as the aluminium ions in the oxide are complexed by the chloride ions forming chloroaluminate (AlCl4)- ions. Once this happens fresh Al atoms are exposed to react with air/water/more chloride. This in itself would explain why the aluminium pole left in Keith's swimming pool became corroded.although there are probably electrochemical reasons as well. I concur with David and indeed I used to use this as the bias for exploring the apparent low reactivity of Aluminium. I would propose that whilst exploring the reactivity series of metals by displacement that students add aluminum to copper sulphate solution, the lack of reaction prompting some cognitive conflict. I would then add a spatula of sodium chloride and displacement would occur at the expected rate. The question is then posed is it the sodium or chloride ions that are affecting the change. A variety of solutions are then offered to test e.g. sodium sulphate, sodium carbonate, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride. This can be further extended to investigate whether other halide ions can also promote the displacement.
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