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Extraction of Metals

In this worksheet. students will explore the world around them, think about how many things are made from metals and where we get metals from.

'Extraction of Metals' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Chemistry: Materials

Curriculum subtopic:  Metals and Carbon in Reactivity Series

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

When metals are discovered in nature they are not generally found as a pure metal, but as part of a compound. This is because, over a very long period of time, the metal has reacted with oxygen in the air and reacted with water. 

 

When metals are found in this state they are called ores.

 

 

Copper ore

An example of an ore containing copper

 

The less reactive metals, such as gold and platinum, are found as a pure metal, because they are very unreactive. All other metals have to be removed from their ores

 

 Panning for gold

Panning for gold.
 

 

Unreactive metals are easily removed from their ores. However, the more reactive the metal the more difficult it is to remove.
 
Shown below is a table of what process must be undertaken to remove metals from their ores:
 
 
 
The unreactive metals are removed form their ores simply by heating. Metals such as zinc, nickel, tin, lead and copper need to be heated with carbon (or carbon monoxide) to extract them. The more reactive metals require electrolysis (a technique involving electricity) to achieve this. Iron, however, is removed in a blast furnace, like the one below:
 
Metal production by melting
 
Let's find out more about metals and their extraction.

What term is used to describe the state in which a reactive metal is found in nature?

 

ore

element

pure

Which of the following metals is found as a pure metal?

iron

sodium

gold

zinc

Complete the following sentence by typing the name of the missing metals into the text box below. 

 

___________ is the only metal to be extracted from its ore in a blast furnace.

Electrolysis is a technique that involves using electricity to separate compounds.

 

Which of the following metals is most likely to be extracted from its ore using this technique?

gold

copper

zinc

aluminium

Match each of the metals shown to the correct method used to extract them form their ores. 

Column A

Column B

copper
heat with carbon
tin
electrolysis
lithium
heat alone
iron
heat with carbon
silver
blast furnace

Match each of the metals shown to the correct method used to extract them form their ores. 

Column A

Column B

zinc
electrolysis
potassium
heat alone
magnesium
heat with carbon
lead
electrolysis
mercury
heat with carbon

Complete the following sentence by typing the correct name of the missing element in the box below:

 

Metals over a long period time have reacted with ____________ from the air.

Which two of following substances have reactive metals reacted with over many years to form ores?

 

water

chlorine

methane

oxygen

  • Question 1

What term is used to describe the state in which a reactive metal is found in nature?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
ore
EDDIE SAYS
More reactive metals are discovered in ores and must be extracted from these ores before they can be used.
  • Question 2

Which of the following metals is found as a pure metal?

CORRECT ANSWER
gold
EDDIE SAYS
Gold is discovered as a pure metal because it is unreactive.
  • Question 3

Complete the following sentence by typing the name of the missing metals into the text box below. 

 

___________ is the only metal to be extracted from its ore in a blast furnace.

CORRECT ANSWER
iron
EDDIE SAYS
Iron is the only metal that is extracted in a blast furnace. The temperatures in the blast furnace are so high that the iron produced is in the molten state.
  • Question 4

Electrolysis is a technique that involves using electricity to separate compounds.

 

Which of the following metals is most likely to be extracted from its ore using this technique?

CORRECT ANSWER
aluminium
EDDIE SAYS
Aluminium is extracted from its ore using electrolysis because it is a fairly reactive metal.
  • Question 5

Match each of the metals shown to the correct method used to extract them form their ores. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

copper
heat with carbon
tin
heat with carbon
lithium
electrolysis
iron
blast furnace
silver
heat alone
EDDIE SAYS
The reactivity series is important to learn to allow you to easily answer this question.
  • Question 6

Match each of the metals shown to the correct method used to extract them form their ores. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

zinc
heat with carbon
potassium
electrolysis
magnesium
electrolysis
lead
heat with carbon
mercury
heat alone
EDDIE SAYS
The relationship between each metal and its reactivity helps you to make sense of the method that's needed to extract them. When you understand that highly reactive metals like magnesium are going to need an electric current running through them to extract them from their ores, it makes sense that something like copper, which is only moderately reactive, is much easier to extract using something higher in the reactivity series, like carbon.
  • Question 7

Complete the following sentence by typing the correct name of the missing element in the box below:

 

Metals over a long period time have reacted with ____________ from the air.

CORRECT ANSWER
oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
Metals react with oxygen from the air to form oxides. That means that most metal ores are different forms of oxides or similar compounds. For many, take away the oxygen and the metal is left - easy!
  • Question 8

Which two of following substances have reactive metals reacted with over many years to form ores?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
water
oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
Metals reacted with oxygen and water over time to end up with the ores we know today. Visit a county like Devon, with its red soils, and you'll see iron ore (iron oxide) right there: the iron has combined with oxygen and forms much of the structure of the land.
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