To Study the Relative Reactivity of Metals using Salt Solution

Materials required:

Procedure:

  • Select four 100ml beakers and label them as zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, aluminium sulphate and ferrous sulphate.
  • Add 20ml of 1M solution of ZnSO4, CuSO4, Al2(SO4)3 and FeSO4 in the labeled beaker respectively.
  • Take a strip of cleaned zinc metal and cut it into small pieces of suitable size.
  • Add two pieces into each beaker containing CuSO4, Al2(SO4)3 and FeSO4.
  • Keep the beakers undisturbed for about 1 hour.
  • After about an hour, note the change in colour of solutions, appearance of metal surface or any other change.
  • Repeat the similar procedure by adding-
  • Copper strips to ZnSO4, Al2(SO4)3 and FeSO4 solutions.
  • Aluminium strips to ZnSO4, CuSO4, and FeSO4 solutions.
  • Iron strips to ZnSO4, CuSO4 and Al2(SO4)3 solutions.

 Simulator Procedure (as performed through the Online Labs)

  • Select the metal from the ‘Select the metal’ drop down list.
  • For the solution in beaker A, select it from the ‘Beaker A’ drop down list.
  • For the solution in beaker B, select it from the ‘Beaker B’ drop down list.
  • For the solution in beaker C, select it from the ‘Beaker C’ drop down list.
  • To add metal pieces into the beaker A, drag the forceps over the beaker.
  • You can click on the inference icon to see the inference.
  • To add metal pieces into the beaker B, drag the forceps over the beaker.
  • You can click on the inference icon to see the inference.
  • To add metal pieces into the beaker C, drag the forceps over the beaker.
  • You can click on the inference icon to see the inference.
  • To verify your findings;
    • Select the metal having the highest reactivity from the ‘Most reactive metal’ drop down list and verify the result.
    • Select the metal having the lowest reactivity from ‘Least reactive metal’ drop down list and verify the result.
    • Select the increasing order of reactivity of the metals from ‘Increasing order of reactivity’ drop down list and verify the result.
  • Click on the ‘Reset’ button to redo the experiment.

Note: Click on the ‘HELP’ button to see the instructions.

Observations:


Metal
Salt solution in which added Colour change of solution Appearance of metal surface Inference
Zinc CuSO4 Blue color of CuSO4 disappears and red-brown copper particles settle down at the bottom of the beaker. Changes Zn can displace Cu from CuSO4 solution.
Zn + CuSO---> ZnSO4 + Cu
  Al2(SO4)3 Solution remains colorless. No change Zn cannot displace Al from Al2(SO4)3 solution.
  FeSO4 Green colour of ferrous sulphate disappears. Iron metal is settling down at the bottom of the beaker. Changes Zn can displace Fe from FeSO4 solution.
Zn + FeSO4 ---> ZnSO4 + Fe
Copper ZnSO4 Solution remains colorless. No change Cu cannot displace Zn from ZnSO4 solution.
  Al2(SO4)3 Solution remains colorless. No change Cu cannot displace Al from Al2(SO4)3  solution.
  FeSO4 Solution remains colorless. No change Cu cannot displace Fe from FeSO4  solution.
Aluminium ZnSO4 Solution remains colorless. Zinc metal is settling down at the bottom of the beaker. Changes Al can displace Zn from ZnSO4 solution.
2Al + 3ZnSO4  ---> 3Zn + Al2(SO4)3
  CuSO4 Blue colour of CuSO4 disappears. The   brown colored copper particles settle down at the bottom of the beaker. Changes Al can displace Cu from CuSO4 solution.
2Al + 3CuSO4 ---> 3Cu + Al2(SO4)3
  FeSO4 Green colour of FeSO4 disappears. Iron   metal is settling down at the bottom of the beaker. Changes Al can displace Fe from FeSO4 solution.
2Al + 3FeSO4---> 3Fe + Al2(SO4)3

 

Iron ZnSO4 Solution remains colorless. No change Fe cannot displace Zn from ZnSO4  solution
  CuSO4 Blue colour of CuSO4 changes to light green colored FeSO4. Copper metal is formed in the beaker. Changes Fe can displace Cu from CuSO4 solution.
Fe+ CuSO4  ---->    Cu +  FeSO4
  Al2(SO4)3 Solution remains colorless. No change Fe cannot displace Al from Al2(SO4)3  solution.

Conclusions:

  • Aluminium is able to displace Zn, Cu and Fe from their salt solutions.
  • Zinc is able to displace Cu and Fe from their salt solutions.
  • Fe is able to displace Cu from its salt solution.
  • Cu cannot displace Zn, Al or Fe from their salt solutions.
  • Thus, aluminium is a more reactive metal. The reactivity of given metals in decreasing order is as given below:

 

Precautions:

  1. Do not touch any chemical.
  2. Label the beakers properly and put them in sequences. It is better to label the beakers both with the chemical names and also by chemical symbols.
  3. Till the reaction goes on, keep the beakers at a safe place. Cover them so that insects or dust may not pollute the solutions.
  4. It is very important that the apparatus you use must be very clean and dry.
  5.  Always clean the metallic strips before use with a sand paper. Use the same strips of metals of same size, weight and number.

  Let’s check the reactivity of these metals. Have a safe lab!!

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