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Carbon in Metal Extraction

In this worksheet, students will learn how carbon is used to extract metals from their ores.

'Carbon in Metal Extraction' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Chemistry: Materials

Curriculum subtopic:  Metals from Metal Oxides and Carbon

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Metals are extracted from their ores. An ore is a mineral, which is a metal compound that contains enough quantity of the metal to be extracted. The picture shows extraction of iron ore in a mine.

 

Quarrying metals

 

Carbon is used to extract metals from their ores. This method involves reduction. Reduction means gain of electrons and loss of oxygen (see diagram).

 

Redox reaction

 

Metals are usually found in nature in compounds called oxides; as the name suggests, the metal naturally forms a compound with oxygen. For example, iron is found as iron oxide. The iron oxide is heated with carbon and the carbon forms a compound with the oxygen, leaving pure iron behind. The metal loses the oxygen, so it is reduced. The carbon gains oxygen, so it is oxidised.

 

Reduction of iron is shown in the following chemical equation:

 

iron oxide + carbon  →  iron + carbon dioxide

 

Heating coal in the absence of oxygen forms coke. This is used as a source of carbon for metal extraction. Reduction does not work for all metals, so there are other methods for extraction apart from reduction with carbon. One such method is electrolysis.

Where are metals extracted from?

rocks

ores

elements

What is an ore?

a mineral

a metal

a catalyst

Which element is often used to extract some metals from their ores?

What is reduction?

gain of electrons

loss of electrons

gain of oxygen

Pick another correct definition of reduction.

loss of electrons

gain of oxygen

loss of oxygen

Metals are found in nature, but they form compounds with other elements. What are the main compounds that contain metals?

oxides

metalloids

carbonates

What would you call a compound of zinc with oxygen?

zinc oxygen

zinc oxide

zind oxidide

What does reduction with carbon involve?

heating with carbon

cooling with carbon

scraping with carbon

What is the carbon compound that forms during metal extraction?

carbon trioxide

carbon dioxide

carbon monoxide

What is an alternative method for metal extraction for metals when carbon reduction does not work?

  • Question 1

Where are metals extracted from?

CORRECT ANSWER
ores
EDDIE SAYS
Metals are extracted from their ores, such as iron ore (mainly iron oxide) and bauxite (aluminium ore).
  • Question 2

What is an ore?

CORRECT ANSWER
a mineral
EDDIE SAYS
An ore is a mineral that contains enough quantity of the metal to be extracted.
  • Question 3

Which element is often used to extract some metals from their ores?

CORRECT ANSWER
carbon
EDDIE SAYS
Carbon is used in metal extraction. That's as long as it's more reactive than the metal in the ore, such as copper, lead or iron. It's no good at getting a more reactive metal, like aluminium, from its ore.
  • Question 4

What is reduction?

CORRECT ANSWER
gain of electrons
EDDIE SAYS
Reduction is gain of electrons.
  • Question 5

Pick another correct definition of reduction.

CORRECT ANSWER
loss of oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
Reduction is also loss of oxygen.
  • Question 6

Metals are found in nature, but they form compounds with other elements. What are the main compounds that contain metals?

CORRECT ANSWER
oxides
EDDIE SAYS
Metals usually form oxides in nature. That's because oxygen is the most reactive gas in the atmosphere and makes up 21% of the air, so is available to form compounds with other elements.
  • Question 7

What would you call a compound of zinc with oxygen?

CORRECT ANSWER
zinc oxide
EDDIE SAYS
A compound of zinc and oxygen is called zinc oxide.
  • Question 8

What does reduction with carbon involve?

CORRECT ANSWER
heating with carbon
EDDIE SAYS
Reduction in metal extraction involves heating with carbon. The carbon reduces the metal oxide by taking the oxygen (to form CO2) and leaving the metal that was wanted.
  • Question 9

What is the carbon compound that forms during metal extraction?

CORRECT ANSWER
carbon dioxide
EDDIE SAYS
During metal extraction carbon dioxide forms as the metal loses the oxygen.
  • Question 10

What is an alternative method for metal extraction for metals when carbon reduction does not work?

CORRECT ANSWER
electrolysis
EDDIE SAYS
Electrolysis is an alternative method for metal extraction when carbon reduction does not work. It involves passing an electric current through the molten ore to extract the metal itself.
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