Metals and Acids
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  • Introduction
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The more reactive metals react with acids to form a salt and water. This can be shown in an equation:

metal + acid salt + hydrogen

 

Unreactive metals, such as gold, copper, silver etc... do not react with acids. 

The three main acids that are used in the science lab are hydrochloric acid (HCl), sufuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3).

 

The salt produced depends on the acid that is used to produce it. The table below shows the type of salts that are produced from these acids:

 

Acid Name Type of Salt
 hydrochloric acid  chloride
 sulfuric acid  sulfate
 nitric acid  nitrate

 

Hydrochloric Acid

Metals react with hydrochloric acid to produce chloride salts for example magnesium reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce the salt magnesium chloride.

magnesium + hydrochloric acid magnesium chloride + hydrogen

Mg+ HCl2MgCl2 + H2

During this reaction bubbles of hydrogen gas will be released and the test tube will become hot because it is an exothermic reaction. 

 

Sulfuric Acid

Metals react with sufuric acid to produce sulfate salts.

zinc + sulfuric acid zinc sulfate + hydrogen

Zn+ H2SO4ZnSO4+ H2

 

Nitric Acid

Metals react with nitric acid to produce nitrate salts.

magnesium + nitric acid magnesium nitrate + hydrogen

Mg+ 2HNO3Mg(NO3)2 + H2

 

As you can see from the equations the reaction of a metal and acid produces hydrogen gas. This gas can easily be identified in the lab because it burns with a pop when introduced to a naked flame.

 

  • Question 1
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Which of the following is released during an exothermic reaction?

heat

gas

water

hydrogen

  • Question 2
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Which of the following metals would not react with hydrochloric acid?

magnesium

zinc

silver

sodium

  • Question 3
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Identify the acid which can be used to produce the salts shown. 

 hydrochloric acid sulfuric acid nitric acid
sodium chloride
magnesium nitrate
potassium chloride
aluminium sulfate
ammonium nitrate
zinc chloride
  • Question 4
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Match up the formula below with the correct acid name, using the letters A, B and C:

 

A = H2SO4

B = HCl

C = HNO3

Column A

Column B

A
hydrochloric acid
B
nitric acid
C
sulfuric acid
  • Question 5
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Match the salt name on the right to the correct acid that is was produced from on the left. 

Column A

Column B

sulfuric acid
calcium nitrate
hydrochloric acid
calcium chloride
nitric acid
calcium sulfate
  • Question 6
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What type of salt is produced in a reaction with hydrochloric acid?

chloride

sulfate

nitrate

  • Question 7
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Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing chemical in the text box below:

 

______________ + magnesium magnesium chloride + hydrogen

 

  • Question 8
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Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing chemical in the text box below. 

 

 calcium carbonate + hydrochloric acid  ______________+ water + carbon dioxide

  • Question 9
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Complete the following equation by selecting the formula of the missing chemical:

 

 _________+   Na  NaNO3 + H2

H20

HNO3

NaNO3

  • Question 10
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Complete the following equation by selecting the formula of the missing chemical:

 

 ____________+   ZnZnSO4 + H2

H2

O2

H2SO4

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