Displacement reactions between metals and their salts

Description

Some metals are more reactive than others. In this experiment, a strip of metal is added to a solution of another metal. A more reactive metal displaces a less reactive metal from its compound. In carrying out the experiment, students investigate competition reactions of metals and arrive at a reactivity series of the four metals they use.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
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Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection

Each student or pair of students will require:

Spotting tile, with at least 16 depressions (or two smaller tiles)

Dropping (teat) pipette

Beaker (100 cm3)

Felt tip pen or other means of labelling

Access to about 5 cm3 each of the following 0.1 M metal salt solutions (Note 1):

Copper(II) sulfate (or nitrate(V))

Lead(II) nitrate (TOXIC, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT)

Magnesium sulfate (or nitrate(V))

Zinc sulfate (or nitrate(V))

Five samples, approximately 1 cm lengths or squares, of each the following metals (Note 2):

Copper foil

Lead foil (TOXIC, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT)

Magnesium ribbon

Zinc foil

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 


Magnesium ribbon, Mg(s) - see CLEAPSS Hazcard. Do NOT leave in a place where pupils would have potentially unsupervised access.





Some metals are more reactive than others. In this experiment, a strip of metal is added to a solution of another metal. A more reactive metal displaces a less reactive metal from its compound. In carrying out the experiment, students investigate competition reactions of metals and arrive at a reactivity series of the four metals they use.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

The experiment is also part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Continuing Professional Development course: Chemistry for non-specialists