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An essay to discuss the relationship between the position of a metal in the Reactivity Series and the method of extraction of that metal from its ore

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Introduction

An essay to discuss the relationship between the position of a metal in the Reactivity Series and the method of extraction of that metal from its ore In this essay I am going to research metals and their methods of extraction from their ores. I will then compare metals lower in the Reactivity Series to those higher in the Reactivity Series to observe the relationships to their methods of extraction from their ores. I will also observe the times of the historical discovery of the metals and relate them to their methods of extraction from their ores. Gold was discovered naturally many years ago, in the sea, when searching for flint for tools. However gold was too soft for tools, so it wasn't very useful. Gold is a very unreactive metal found very low down in the Reactivity Series, which is very easy to extract from its ore. It is also found native in and by streams, which makes it expensive as it is difficult to find as you have to extract from sea-water all across the world. Copper, also unreactive, is higher in the Reactivity Series than Gold. It was also found native in streams and is hard, which made it good for tools those years ago. ...read more.

Middle

and rapid cooling. The bellows, which were much more powerful than the first ones that were used to produce copper, were so large that they were powered by water. Finally an early form of steel was produced, which was hard enough for tools. This long process of intense heating, hammering and rapid cooling proves that iron is more difficult to extract from its ore than metals lower in the Reactivity Series, like gold and copper. Iron and steel were used for the bodies of cars but they had their bad properties. For example, they tended to rust so the iron and steel needed to be protected with paint. This was quite an expensive process so a better metal was required - aluminium. Aluminium was better than iron and steel in the sense that it doesn't rust, so no paint is needed to protect it, which reduces costs. It is also light enough for the body, engine housing and wings of aircraft and for trains; iron and steel would make aircraft too heavy to leave the ground. Therefore there was a greater demand for aluminium, so it needs to be extracted from its ore. Aluminium can be extracted from its ore, aluminium oxide. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iron is much more reactive than both copper and gold and higher in the Reactivity Series. After a while aluminium was extracted from its ore through electrolysis, a large, expensive and far more difficult method than all the other metals mentioned (gold, copper, iron). Aluminium is also much higher in the Reactivity Series and much more reactive. This proves that metals higher in the Reactivity Series, which are more reactive, have more complex methods of extraction not only because they are more reactive but also because they took much longer to find ways to extract them from their ores, as proven from the past methods. Therefore I can predict that in future, as time continues we will be able to extract much more reactive metals from their ores, through more complex methods. I can predict this after reviewing past activities shown in this essay, where as time continued more reactive metals were able to be extracted from their ores through more complex methods. However this is just a prediction, I do not know whether it will happen, as that will require further research into experimentation with metals and methods of extraction from their ores. That is another essay entirely! Dheep Matharu 11N ...read more.

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