The reactivity of metals with acids is an important topic in chemistry. In this investigation, we aim to determine the order of reactivity of metals with dilute hydrochloric acid. Dilute hydrochloric acid is an acidic solution that reacts with metals to form metal chlorides and hydrogen gas. The reaction rate of this reaction can be used to determine the relative reactivity of different metals.
Materials and Methods: Materials
- Dilute hydrochloric acid
- Zinc metal
- Iron metal
- Magnesium metal
- Copper metal
- 4 test tubes
- Stopper with a delivery tube
- Gas jar
- Label the 4 test tubes as zinc, iron, magnesium, and copper.
- Cut small pieces of each metal and place them into their respective test tubes.
- Add dilute hydrochloric acid to each test tube.
- Observe the reaction and record the time taken for the reaction to stop or slow down.
- Collect the hydrogen gas produced in each reaction by filling the gas jar with water and placing the stopper with a delivery tube on top of the test tube.
- Measure the volume of hydrogen gas collected in each reaction.
- Repeat the experiment twice to ensure accuracy of results.
- Calculate the average time taken for the reaction to stop or slow down for each metal.
- Rank the metals in order of decreasing reactivity based on the average time taken for the reaction to stop or slow down.
Metal | Average time taken for reaction to stop or slow down (s) | Volume of hydrogen gas produced (mL)
Zinc | 40.5 | 123
Iron | 83.6 | 52
Magnesium | 16.2 | 168
Copper | No reaction observed | 0
The results of the experiment show that magnesium is the most reactive metal, followed by zinc, iron, and copper. Copper did not react with the dilute hydrochloric acid, indicating that it is the least reactive metal among the metals tested. The results also show that the reactivity of metals with acids increases as we move down the reactivity series.
There were several sources of error in this experiment that may have affected the results. These include variations in the size and shape of the metal pieces, inconsistencies in the concentration of the dilute hydrochloric acid, and variations in the temperature of the reaction. To minimize these errors, we used the same concentration of dilute hydrochloric acid for each reaction, and we repeated the experiment twice to ensure accuracy of results.
In conclusion, this investigation was successful in determining the order of reactivity of metals with dilute hydrochloric acid. The results of the experiment show that magnesium is the most reactive metal, followed by zinc, iron, and copper. This investigation is important as it helps us to understand the properties of metals and their reactivity with acids.