The reaction between zinc and copper(II) oxide

Description

In this experiment copper(II) oxide and zinc metal are reacted together. The reaction is exothermic and the products can be clearly identified. The experiment illustrates the difference in reactivity between zinc and copper and hence the idea of competition reactions.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
the-reaction-between-zinc...



Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection

Bunsen burner

Tin lid sitting on a tripod (or a strip of ceramic paper)

Beaker (100 cm3)

Circuit tester (battery, bulb and leads) (Optional)

Safety screens (Optional)

Test-tubes, 2 (Optional – see Procedure g)

Test-tube rack

Access to a balance weighing to the nearest 0.1 g

The quantities given are for one demonstration:

Copper(II) oxide powder (HARMFUL, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), 2 g

Zinc powder (HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), 1.6 g

Dilute hydrochloric acid, approx. 2 M (IRRITANT), 20 cm3

Zinc oxide (DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), a few grams

Copper powder, a few grams.

Concentrated nitric acid (CORROSIVE, OXIDISING), 5 cm3 (Optional – see Procedure g)

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

 


Read our standard health & safety guidance





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In this experiment copper(II) oxide and zinc metal are reacted together. The reaction is exothermic and the products can be clearly identified. The experiment illustrates the difference in reactivity between zinc and copper and hence the idea of competition reactions.

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