activity series

Introduction to Some Activity Series

Description: The article below concentrates on the topic which is about activity series. The content is related to activity series. The author is going to talk about the activity series of metals and nonmetals and show us several examples to teach us how to use the metals.

Today, we are going to talk about the activity series of metals and nonmetals, so first we’re going to focus on metals, I didn’t list every metal, I have a few common examples, so you can see how to apply it, hopefully, your teacher will give you the Activity series sheet, you don’t have to memorize them, there’s something that you should know.

So usually the group 1 and group 2 elements like lithium, sodium, magnesium, those are the most reactive ones, the transition metals are a little bit less reactive, at least some of them are, but here’s how to use it.

So if we have a single replacement reaction, for example, zinc metal reacting with iron chloride and it produces zinc chloride plus iron metal, the question that we want to know is whether this will have reaction work, does it work or does it not work and that’s where you use the activity series.

You see zinc is more reactive than iron, so zinc will displace iron from this compound, so the reaction will work, now let’s consider another example, suppose we have copper metal reacting with magnesium chloride, the question is whether copper is strong enough to displace magnesium chloride.

The answer is that no copper is less reactive than magnesium, therefore copper will not be able to displace magnesium, this reaction will not work, so that’s how you would use the activity series to determine whether a single replacement reaction will take place or not.

Now let’s consider reactions involving nonmetals, you need to know that fluorine is more reactive than chlorine and iodine are the least reactive, so consider this example, let’s say chlorine reacts with sodium bromide to produce sodium chloride and liquid bromine.

The question is whether this reaction will work well, this one will work, because chlorine will displace bromine, chlorine is more reactive than bromine, so this will work, now consider another example, let’s say iodine reacts with sodium chloride.

So you produce sodium iodide and chlorine gas will this reaction work, the answer is No, iodine cannot displace chlorine the reason being is iodine is less reactive than chlorine, this reaction will not work, that’s how you can use the activity series to predict whether a single replacement reaction will work or not.

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