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LAB -2

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Reaction of Metals with Strong Acids and Bases
Purpose:
A metal is an element of the periodic table usually located in groups 1-15. We will
observe the reaction of a strong base such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and a strong acid
such as hydrochloric acid (HCl) on some selected metals.
Some of the metals selected are Aluminum (Al), Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn) and Copper (Cu).
We will learn that some metals react with strong acids following the simple net
ionic equation
M + nH+(aqueous)  Mn+(aqueous) + H2(gas)

We will lear that some metals react with a strong base such as NaOH according to
the net ionic equation
M + nOH- + H2O  M(OH)nn- + H2(gas)

Some metals don’t react with strong acids or bases following the simple ionic
reactions above. They are referred to as Noble Metals. These metals need oxidizing acids
such as nitric acid (HNO3). Gold and silver are noble metals. You will determine the
third.

Materials Needed:

A concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in water; prepared by dissolving
200 peaces of NaOH solid in 400 ml of water. Concentration ~ 2.5 M
Warning N Danger!

A Concentrated solution of hydrochloric acid (HCl); prepared by diluting 85 ml of
concentrated HCl with 315 ml of water. Concentration ~ 2.5 M
Warning N Danger!

Aluminum (Al) Foil: The foil is made from pure aluminum metal. The thickness of the
foil is ~ 0.05 mm

Iron (Fe): Provided to you in the form of iron wool or nails

Copper (Cu): Provided to you in the form of copper wires or powder.

Procedure:
A- Place 2 ml of concentrated NaOH solution in a test tube. Add a peace of Aluminum.

1- Do you notice the formation of gas bubbles? Yes No

2- Does the reaction get hot? Yes No

B- Place 2 ml of Concentrated HCl in a test tube. Add a similar peace of Aluminum.

1- Do you notice the formation of gas bubbles? Yes No

2- Does the reaction get hot? Yes No

C- Place 2 ml of concentrated NaOH solution in a test tube. Add a peace of Iron (Fe).

Do you notice the formation of gas bubbles? Yes No

Does the reaction get hot? Yes No

D- Place 2 ml of Concentrated HCl in a test tube. Add a similar peace of Iron (Fe).

Do you notice the formation of gas bubbles? Yes No

Does the reaction get hot? Yes No

What is the color of the solution?

E- Place 2 ml of concentrated NaOH solution in a test tube. Add a peace of Copper (Cu).

Do you notice the formation of gas bubbles? Yes No

Does the reaction get hot? Yes No

F- Place 2 ml of Concentrated HCl in a test tube. Add a similar peace of Copper (Cu).

Do you notice the formation of gas bubbles? Yes No

Does the reaction get hot? Yes No

Discussion:
1- Some metals react with acids to give off hydrogen gas (H2) and metal cations.

Al + HCl  Al3+ + Cl-

Zn + HCl  Zn2+ + Cl-

Cu + HCl  Cu2+ + Cl-

2- Balance the previous reactions. Balance the reactions that occur!

3- Some metals are called Amphoteric because they react with Acids and Bases.
Which of the following metals are Amphoteric?

Al Zn Cu

5- Which of the following metals is a Noble Metal?

Al Zn Cu