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Displacement

Displacement reactions sound complicated but they can be easily explained using the reactivity series. Students will explore this in this worksheet.

'Displacement' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Curriculum subtopic:  Types of Chemical Reactions

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Before we look at displacment reactions it is important to review the reactivity series. The reactivity series lists metals in order or reactivity from the most reactive to the least reactive. 


 

When looking at displacement reactions, it is important to refer to the reactivity series, because a displacement reaction is one in which a metal displaces a less reactive metal from a compound. This is better illustrated in an equation:

 

Magnesium + Copper sulfate Magnesium sulfate + Copper

 

The copper is displaced from the compound by the magnesium, because the magnesium is more reactive. In the lab this reaction would result in a colour change. Copper sulfate is blue in colour and the copper metal formed is brown in colour.

 

   
 copper sulfate  copper metal

 
 

The reactivity series can be used to predict displacement reactions. For example:

Zinc will react with iron nitrate because zinc is more reactive than iron, but zinc will not react with magnesium nitrate because zinc is less reactive than magnesium. 

 ZInc + Iron nitrate Zinc nitrate  + Iron

Zinc + Magnesium nitrate NO REACTION

 

Displacement reactions can be very useful. One example of a useful displacement reaction is the thermite reaction. This is the reaction between iron oxide and aluminium. The reaction is highly exothermic (gives out heat) and the iron produced is in the molten state. This molten iron can then be used to mend broken railway tracks, as can be seen in the picture below:

 

Put these metals in order by comparing their reactivity to magnesium (i.e. are they more reactive than magnesium or less reactive?).

Column A

Column B

sodium
more reactive
copper
more reactive
aluminium
less reactive
potassium
less reactive
zinc
less reactive

Put these metals in order by comparing their reactivity to copper (i.e. are they more or less reactive than copper?).

Column A

Column B

gold
more reactive
mercury
more reactive
iron
more reactive
tin
less reactive
lead
less reactive

Which of the following is a displacement reaction that can be used to mend railway lines?

combustion

thermite

corrosion

kryptonite

Type the name of the metal that the compound shown in the picture below is most likely to contain?

 

Complete the sentence by typing the missing word into the text box below:

 

A displacement reaction is when a metal displaces a ________ reactive metal from a compound.

In which of the following would no reaction occur?

 

Zinc + Copper Sulfate

Magnesium + Zinc Nitrate

Copper + Magnesium Sulfate

In which of the following would reaction occur?

 

Magnesium + Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium + Zinc Chloride

Zinc + Magnesium Chloride

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below:

 

Magnesium + Copper nitrate ______________  ___________ + Copper

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below.

 

Copper + ___________   __________ Copper chloride + Silver

  • Question 1

Put these metals in order by comparing their reactivity to magnesium (i.e. are they more reactive than magnesium or less reactive?).

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

sodium
more reactive
copper
less reactive
aluminium
less reactive
potassium
more reactive
zinc
less reactive
EDDIE SAYS
It is important to learn the reactivity series before attempting displacement reactions.
  • Question 2

Put these metals in order by comparing their reactivity to copper (i.e. are they more or less reactive than copper?).

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

gold
less reactive
mercury
less reactive
iron
more reactive
tin
more reactive
lead
more reactive
  • Question 3

Which of the following is a displacement reaction that can be used to mend railway lines?

CORRECT ANSWER
thermite
EDDIE SAYS
Thermite reactions produce molten iron by reacting iron oxide with aluminium. The iron is poured between the breaks in the lines and, when it cools, the iron becomes solid again, which repairs the track.
Incase you were wondering, kryptonite is not real, it is the substance that removes Superman's powers!
  • Question 4

Type the name of the metal that the compound shown in the picture below is most likely to contain?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
copper
EDDIE SAYS
Compounds that contain copper usually have a blue colour that is caused by the copper ions.
  • Question 5

Complete the sentence by typing the missing word into the text box below:

 

A displacement reaction is when a metal displaces a ________ reactive metal from a compound.

CORRECT ANSWER
less
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one! Remember that a displacement reaction involves a reactive metals displacing a less reactive metal from its compound.
The most reactive metal is always produced as a compound.
  • Question 6

In which of the following would no reaction occur?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Copper + Magnesium Sulfate
EDDIE SAYS
No reaction would occur between copper and magnesium sulfate because magnesium is more reactive than copper - remember the more reactive metal is always produced as a compound.
  • Question 7

In which of the following would reaction occur?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Magnesium + Zinc Chloride
EDDIE SAYS
Magnesium and zinc chloride would react because magnesium is more reactive than zinc so magnesium chloride would be produced.
  • Question 8

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below:

 

Magnesium + Copper nitrate ______________  ___________ + Copper

CORRECT ANSWER
magnesium nitrate
EDDIE SAYS
The magnesium displaces the copper metal to produce magnesium nitrate and copper.
  • Question 9

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below.

 

Copper + ___________   __________ Copper chloride + Silver

CORRECT ANSWER
silver chloride
EDDIE SAYS
The copper displaces the silver metal from silver chloride to produce copper chloride and silver.
---- OR ----

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