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Metals and Acids

In this worksheet, students will look at the reaction between metals and acids to produce new compounds, focussing on the equations which describe those reactions.

'Metals and Acids' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Curriculum subtopic:   Formulae and Equations

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

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), 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. 

 

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 to produce water vapour.

 

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

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