Reactions of NaOH with Aluminium Metal and HCl

Our Objective

To study the reaction of NaOH with Aluminium metal and dilute HCl.

The Theory

Most metals react with acids to generate a salt and hydrogen gas. A single displacement reaction can occur with metals that are more active than acids. Zinc metal, for example, interacts with hydrochloric acid to create zinc chloride and hydrogen gas.


Bases generate hydrogen gas when they react with certain metals, such as zinc or aluminium. When sodium hydroxide combines with zinc and water, sodium zincate is formed, as well as hydrogen gas.


Sodium hydroxide is a base. It reacts with aluminium metal to produce hydrogen gas. It also neutralises the hydrochloric acid to produce sodium chloride salt and water.

2NaOH (aq) + 2Al (s) + 2H2O (l) → 2NaAlO2 (aq) + H2 (g)

NaOH (aq) + HCl (aq) → NaCl (aq) + H2O (l)

Learning Outcomes   

  1. Students understand  terms like acids and bases based on the given chemical reactions.      
  2. Students acquire skills to classify the given compounds as acids and bases using the following materials.                              
    • Litmus Paper         
    • Aluminium Metal           
    • Acid- HCl, Base-NaOH    
  3. Based on acquired skills the student will be able to analyze the given samples and classify them as acids or bases in with metal in the future.     
  4. Students obtain the skill to safely handle the acids and bases in the lab.     
  5. Students acquire a general understanding of the common requirements to perform this experiment and how to arrange it in the lab.