(d) Reactivity series

2:15 understand how metals can be arranged in a reactivity series based on their reactions with: water and dilute hydrochloric or sulfuric acid

Some metals are more reactive than others.

The order of reactivity can be determined by adding acid to different metals and observing the rate of reaction.

For example, when hydrochloric acid is added to iron (Fe) then bubbles of hydrogen are produced slowly. However, if the same acid is added to zinc (Zn) then bubbles will be produced more quickly. This tells us that zinc is more reactive than iron.

Instead of using acid, water can be used to test the relative reactivity of metals. However, many metals are too low in the reactivity series to react with water

2:16 understand how metals can be arranged in a reactivity series based on their displacement reactions between: metals and metal oxides, metals and aqueous solutions of metal salts

A metal will displace another metal from its oxide that is lower in the reactivity series. For example, a reaction with magnesium and copper (II) oxide will result in the magnesium displacing the copper from its oxide:

A metal will also displace another metal from its salt that is lower in the reactivity series. For example, the reaction between zinc and copper (II) sulfate solution will result in zinc displacing the copper from its salt:

The blue colour of the copper (II) sulfate solution fades as colourless zinc sulfate solution is formed.

2:19 understand how the rusting of iron may be prevented by: barrier methods, galvanising and sacrificial protection

Barrier Methods: Rusting may be prevented by stopping the water and oxygen getting to the iron with a barrier of grease, oil, paint or plastic.

Galvanising: (coating in zinc) also prevents water and oxygen getting to the iron, but with galvanising even if the barrier is broken the more reactive zinc corrodes before the less reactive iron. During the process, the zinc loses electrons to form zinc ions.

Sacrificial Protection: Zinc blocks are attached to iron boat hulls and underground pipelines to act as sacrificial anodes. Zinc is more reactive than iron, so oxygen in the air reacts with the zinc to form a layer of zinc oxide instead of the iron.

2:20 in terms of gain or loss of oxygen and loss or gain of electrons, understand the terms: oxidation, reduction, redox, oxidising agent, reducing agent, in terms of gain or loss of oxygen and loss or gain of electrons

Oxidation

  • Oxidation is the loss of electrons. For example a sodium atom (Na) loses an electron to become a sodium ion (Na⁺). Another example is a chloride ion (Cl⁻) losing an electron to become a chlorine atom (Cl).
  • Another definition of oxidation is the gain of oxygen. For example if carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, the carbon is being oxidised.

 

Reduction

  • Reduction is the gain of electrons. For example a sodium ion (Na⁺) gains an electron to become a sodium ion (Na). Another example is a chlorine atom (Cl) gaining an electron to become a chloride atom (Cl⁻).
  • Another definition of reduction is the loss of oxygen. For example when aluminium oxide is broken down to produce aluminium and oxygen, the aluminium is being reduced.

 

Redox: A reaction involving oxidation and reduction.

A good way to remember the definitions of oxidation and reduction in terms of electrons is:

  • OILRIG : Oxidation Is the Loss of electrons and Reduction Is the Gain of electrons

 

Oxidising agent: A substance that gives oxygen or removes electrons (it is itself reduced).

 

Reducing agent: A substance that takes oxygen or gives electrons (it is itself oxidised).

 

2:21 practical: investigate reactions between dilute hydrochloric and sulfuric acids and metals (e.g. magnesium, zinc and iron)

Metals which are above hydrogen in the reactivity series will react with dilute hydrochloric or sulfuric acid to produce a salt and hydrogen.

metal   +   acid   →   salt   +   hydrogen

For example:

         magnesium   +   hydrochloric acid   →   magnesium chloride   +   hydrogen

         Mg (s)         +         2HCl (aq)         →         MgCl₂ (aq)         +         H₂ (g)

This is a displacement reaction.

Image result for magnesium + hydrochloric acid

There is a rapid fizzing and a colourless gas is produced. This gas pops with a lighted splint, showing the gas is hydrogen.

The reaction mixture becomes warm as heat is produced (exothermic).

The magnesium disappears to leave a colourless solution of magnesium chloride.

If more reactive metals are used instead of magnesium the reaction will be faster so the fizzing will be more vigorous and more heat will be produced.

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Section 1: Principles of chemistry

      a) States of matter

      b) Atoms

      c) Atomic structure

     d) Relative formula masses and molar volumes of gases

     e) Chemical formulae and chemical equations

     f) Ionic compounds

     g) Covalent substances

     h) Metallic crystals

     i) Electrolysis

 Section 2: Chemistry of the elements

     a) The Periodic Table

     b) Group 1 elements: lithium, sodium and potassium

     c) Group 7 elements: chlorine, bromine and iodine

     d) Oxygen and oxides

     e) Hydrogen and water

     f) Reactivity series

     g) Tests for ions and gases

Section 3: Organic chemistry

     a) Introduction

     b) Alkanes

     c) Alkenes

     d) Ethanol

Section 4: Physical chemistry

     a) Acids, alkalis and salts

     b) Energetics

     c) Rates of reaction

     d) Equilibria

Section 5: Chemistry in industry

     a) Extraction and uses of metals

     b) Crude oil

     c) Synthetic polymers

     d) The industrial manufacture of chemicals