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Describe the Reactions Between Metals and Acids

In this worksheet, students will look at the reactions between metals and acids to produce new compounds, focusing on the equations that describe those reactions and naming salts.

'Describe the Reactions Between Metals and Acids' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 9 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Curriculum subtopic:   Formulae and Equations

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

The more reactive metals react with acids to form salt and hydrogen gas. 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), sulfuric 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's an exothermic reaction (heat is released).


Sulfuric Acid

Metals react with sulfuric 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.


Test for Hydrogen


The 'POP!' is the reaction between the hydrogen and the oxygen in the air that produces water vapour.


Let's put that all into context by having a look at a few questions.

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