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Displacement Reactions of Metals.

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Introduction

Louise King 25th March, 2002 Displacement Reactions of Metals Task Investigate the effect of having pieces of metal in contact with solutions of other metal salts. Required Apparatus 3 Copper Strips 3 Zinc Strips 1 small cup of Silver Nitrate 1 small cup of Copper Sulphate 1 small cup of Lead '2' Nitrate 6 small test tubes 1 test tube rack 3 small pipettes Safety For this experiment you have to wear a white lab jacket or apron, protective glasses and a pair of gloves. As we are dealing with potentially dangerous gases so precautions have to be taken. In this experiment it is essential to wear protective gloves as if any acid falls onto your hand it could cause permanent damage. ...read more.

Middle

with Silver Nitrate. Then repeat this with the other solutions; Copper Sulphate and Lead '2' Nitrate. A simplified version of this is shown below: Now leave the test tubes for between 20-40 minutes. By now on some of the strips, small crystals should have formed and this will be noted in our table of results. After the experiment is over we need to pour the contents of our test tubes into different beakers and not down the lab sinks. The last thing we need to do is to put all our equipment away. Results Below is a table showing my results. I have included the solution, metal and then a comment of what I saw: Solution / Metal Silver Nitrate Copper Sulphate Lead '2' Nitrate Copper Grey Crystals (of silver) ...read more.

Conclusion

However, when we mixed the copper strip with the Lead '2' Nitrate, no chemical reaction occurred. This is because the copper is not high enough in the activity series to replace the lead so no reaction takes place. When we dipped the zinc strip into the Copper Sulphate, the zinc displaces the copper. The previously blue copper solution looses its colour in the reaction and the zinc gets coated in a dark red-brown copper metal. To conclude: with a more reactive metal (one higher up in the activity series) will always displace a less reactive metal (one lower down in the activity series) from its compounds. The more reactive metal takes away the non-metal from the less reactive metal. Displacement reactions can be very useful in our daily lives as they are frequently used to produce electricity in batteries. ...read more.

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