The Reactivity Series

The Reactivity Series


The reactivity series is a list of metals arranged in the order of their decreasing activities. After performing displacement experiments, the following series, known as the reactivity or activity series has been developed.

Important Details


Given their ease of oxidation, the metals at the top of the reactivity series are effective reducing agents. These metals corrode and tarnish very quickly.
While moving down the series, the metals’ reducing power becomes weaker.

While descending the metal reactivity series, the electro positivity of the elements also decreases.

When reacting with diluted HCl or diluted H2SO4, all metals above hydrogen in the activity series release H2 gas.

Higher metals on the reactivity scale have the power to remove lower metals from salt solutions and replace them with higher metals.

In order to separate higher ranking metals from ores and other compounds, more energy is needed.

The activity series’ other crucial component is that while.

Higher metals on the reactivity scale have the power to remove lower metals from salt solutions and replace them with higher metals.

In order to separate higher ranking metals from ores and other compounds, more energy is needed.

The fact that the ability of the metals to donate electrons decreases as one moves down the activity series is another significant feature of the series.

Relevant Applications of Reactivity Series


The reactivity series has several other significant applications in addition to shedding light on the characteristics and reactivities of the metals. The activity series, for instance, can be used to predict the outcome of reactions between metals and acids, water, and single displacement reactions between metals.

Reaction Between Metals and Water


Cold water can react with calcium and other metals in the reactivity series that are more reactive than calcium to form the corresponding hydroxide while releasing hydrogen gas. For instance, the chemical equation below describe how sodium reacts with water to produce sodium hydroxide and H2 gas.

2 K + 2H2 O = 2 KOH + H2

As a result, it is possible to predict the reactions between metals and water using the metals’ reactivity series.

Reaction Between Metals and Acids


When lead and the metals ranked above lead on the activity series react with hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, salts are produced. Hydrogen gas is also released during these reactions. One such reaction is the one that occurs when sodium and sulfuric acid interact. Sodium sulphate and H2 gas are produced in this process. The chemistry formula is:

H2SO4 + Na = Na2SO4 + H2 As a result, the reactivity series can be used to predict the reactions between metals and some acids.

Single Displacement Reactions Between Metals

High ranking metals on the reactivity series can easily reduce the ions of lower ranked metals. As a result, in their single displacement reactions, high ranking metals can easily displace low ranking metals.

The removal of copper from copper sulphate by iron is a prime example of such a reaction. This reaction’s chemical equation is provided by:

CuSO4 (aq) + Fe (s) → FeSO4 (aq) + Cu (s)

There are many real-world ways that this idea can be used to extract metals. For instance, using a single displacement reaction with magnesium, titanium can be extracted from titanium tetrachloride. Therefore, it is possible to forecast the outcome of single displacement reactions using the metals’ reactivity series.

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