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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

3.1 REDOX REACTIONS


1. Many processes that occur around us are redox reactions. These include combustion, rusting,
photosynthesis, respiration and decomposition.
2. The term redox is actually an abbreviation for the process of reduction and oxidation.
3. Redox reactions are chemical reactions involving oxidation and reduction occurring
simultaneously. Redox reaction is also known as oxidation-reduction reaction. It is interesting to
note that oxidation is always accompanied by reduction.
2. Redox reaction can be explained based on: How antiseptics and disinfectants work?
a) Loss or gain of oxygen They contain oxidizing agents such as
b) Loss or gain of hydrogen halogens or peroxides that oxidize and
c) Transfer of electrons thus destroy bacteria.
d) Changes in oxidation number
Redox reactions based on loss or gain in oxygen
1. Oxidation is a gain of oxygen. When a substance gains oxygen, it is said to be
oxidised.
2. The substance that causes oxidation is called oxidising agent or oxidant.
3. Reduction is the opposite of oxidation. Reduction is a loss of oxygen. When a
substance loses its oxygen, it is said to be reduced.
4. The substance that causes reduction is called the reducing agent or reductant.
Example:
Zn (s) + PbO (s) ZnO (s) + Pb (s)

a) Zinc undergoes oxidation because it gains oxygen to form zinc oxide.


b) Lead (II) oxide causes zinc to be oxidised. So, lead (II) oxide is the oxidising agent in this redox
reaction.
c) At the same time, lead (II) oxide undergoes reduction because it loses its oxygen to zinc. It is
reduced to metallic lead.
d) Zinc causes lead (II) oxide to be reduced. So, zinc acts as the reducing agent.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Laboratory work 3.1: Page (67-69)


Aim To investigate redox reaction involving oxygen
(A) Combustion of metal in oxygen
Materials Magnesium ribbon, sandpaper, gas jar containing oxygen gas.
Apparatus Tongs, Bunsen burner
Procedure 1. A piece of 5 cm magnesium ribbon is cleaned with sandpaper.
The apparatus set up as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Combustion of magnesium in oxygen


2. Using a pair of tongs, the ribbon is lit and quickly placed into a gas jar filled with oxygen
gas. Observation is made.
Observation The magnesium ribbon burns with a bright white flame producing a white ash.
Discussion 1. Magnesium burns in oxygen to produce the white ash of magnesium oxide.
2. The equation representing the combustion of magnesium:
2 Mg (s) + O2 (g) 2 MgO (s)
3. Magnesium gains oxygen to form magnesium oxide. Therefore, magnesium is said to be
oxidised to magnesium oxide.
(B) Heating of metal oxide with carbon
Materials Copper (II) oxide, carbon powder
Apparatus Crucible, pipe-clay triangle, tripod stand, spatula, Bunsen burner
Procedure 1. A spatulaful of copper (II) oxide and a spatulaful of carbon powder are mixed thoroughly
in a crucible.
2. The apparatus is set up as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Heating of copper (II) oxide with carbon


3. The mixture is heated strongly. Observation is made.
Observation 1. The mixture burns brightly.
2. Reddish-brown globules are formed.
Discussion 1. When copper (II) oxide is heated with carbon, it produces copper which is reddish-brown
in colour.
2. The equation representing the reaction that occurs:
2 CuO (s) + C(s) 2 Cu(s) + CO2 (g)
3. Copper (II) oxide loses its oxygen to form copper. Thus, copper (II) oxide is said to be
reduced to copper.
4. The reduction is caused by carbon. Therefore, carbon is said to act as the reducing agent
(reductant).
5. Simultaneously, carbon gains oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Carbon is oxidised to
carbon dioxide.
6. The oxidation of carbon is brought about by copper (II) oxide. So, copper (II) oxide acts
as the oxidising agent (oxidant).
Conclusion 1. In the combustion of metal in oxygen, the metal is oxidised by oxygen to metal oxide.
2. In the heating of metal oxide with carbon, the metal oxide is reduced by carbon to metal.
Simultaneously, carbon is oxidised by the metal oxide to carbon dioxide.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Redox reactions based on loss or gain in hydrogen


1. Not all redox reactions involve oxygen. For redox reaction involving hydrogen gas or substances
containing hydrogen, it is easier to explain the oxidation and reduction in terms of loss or gain of
hydrogen.
2. Oxidation is a loss of hydrogen, whereas reduction is a gain of hydrogen. Therefore, when a
substance loses its hydrogen, it is said to be oxidised.
Example 1:
2 NH3 (g) + 3 Br2 (g) N2 (g) + 6 HBr (g)
a) Ammonia is oxidised as it loses its hydrogen to form nitrogen gas.
b) Bromine is the oxidising agent as it causes ammonia to be oxidised.
c) At the same time, bromine is reduced as it gains the hydrogen lost by ammonia to form
hydrogen bromide.
d) Ammonia is the reducing agent as it causes bromine to be reduced.

Example 2:
H2S (g) + Cl2 (g) S (s) + 2 HCl (g)
a) Hydrogen sulphide is oxidised to sulphur as it loses its hydrogen to chlorine.
b) Chlorine gains the hydrogen and therefore is reduced to hydrogen chloride.
c) Chlorine acts as the oxidising agent because it causes hydrogen sulphide to be oxidised.
d) Hydrogen sulphide acts as the reducing agent because it causes chlorine to be reduced.

Redox reactions based on transfer of electrons


1. Many redox reactions do not involve oxygen or hydrogen. These reactions can be explained
based on the transfer of electrons that occurred.
2. Oxidation is a loss of electrons and reduction is a gain of electrons.
3. Thus, the electron acceptor acts as the oxidising agent and the electron donor acts as the reducing
agent.
Example 1:
2 Na (s) + Cl2 (g) 2 NaCl (s)
a) In this reaction, there is a transfer of electrons from sodium to chlorine.
b) This reaction can be taken as two separate changes occurring at the same time. Each
change is called a half reaction and its equation is called a half-equation.
Oxidation half-equation: Na(s) Na+ (s) +
Each sodium atom is oxidised as it loses one electron to form a sodium ion.
Reduction half-equation: Cl2 (g) + 2 2 Cl- (s)
Each molecule of chlorine is reduced as it accepts two electrons from sodium atoms to form two
chlorine ions.
c) Sodium is the electron donor and therefore is the reducing agent. On the other hand, chlorine is
the electron acceptor. Thus, chlorine act as the oxidising agent.
d) We can get the overall equation by adding up the two half-equations.
Na(s) Na+ (s) +
Cl2 (g) + 2 2 Cl- (s)
Overall equation: 2 Na(s) + Cl2 (g) 2 NaCl (s)

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Note: In summing up the two half-equations, the number of electrons on both sides of the equation
should cancel each other out.
Example 2: Zn(s) + CuSO4 (aq) ZnSO4 (aq) + Cu (s)
Oxidation half-equation: Zn(s) Zn2+ (aq) + 2

Reduction half-equation: Cu2+ (s) + 2 Cu (s)


a) Zinc undergoes oxidation as it loses electrons to form zinc ions
b) The electrons are accepted by copper (II) ions to form metallic copper.
c) Zinc acts as the reducing agent, whereas copper (II) ions act as the oxidising agent.
d) The overall equation is given below.
Zn(s) Zn2+ (aq) + 2
Cu (aq) + 2 Cu (s)
2+

Overall equation: Zn(s) + Cu2+ (aq) Zn2+ (aq) + Cu (s)


Note: This overall equation is also known as ionic equation (equation without the spectator ions)

Redox reactions based on changes in oxidation number


1. Complete transfer of electrons occurs during redox reaction involving ions. There are redox
reactions involving molecules that do not involve complete transfer of electrons.
2. Redox reaction such as these can be explained in terms of changes in oxidation number.
3. Oxidation number or oxidation state of an element is the charge that the atom of the element
would have if complete transfer of electrons takes place. Each element in a substance can be
assigned with an oxidation number. Chemists assign the numbers according to a set of rules.

Rules for assigning oxidation number


1. The oxidation number of an atom in its elemental state is zero. Example:
C, Na, Mg, Al, H2, O2, Cl2 and Br2 have the oxidation number of 0.
2. The oxidation number of a monoatomic ion is equal to its charge.
Ion K+ Zn2+ Al3+ Cl- S2- N3-
Oxidation number +1 +2 +3 -1 -2 -3
3. In compounds, the more electronegative elements are given a negative oxidation number. The
sequence of electronegativity of some elements are shown below.
Fluorine, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, bromine, iodine
Increasing electronegativity

a) The oxidation number of fluorine in all its compounds is -1 as


it is very electronegative.
b) The oxidation numbers of other halogens (chlorine, bromine
and iodine) in their compounds are -1 except when they
combine with more electronegative elements such as oxygen
and nitrogen.
c) The oxidation number of hydrogen in a compound is always +1
except when hydrogen combines with reactive metals in metal
hydrides, where it is -1.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

d) The oxidation number of oxygen in a compound is always -2


except in peroxides and when oxygen combines with a more
electronegative element such as fluorine.

4. The sum of the oxidation numbers of all the elements in the formula of a compound must be
zero. Example:

5. The sum of the oxidation numbers of all the elements in the formula of a polyatomic ion must be
equal to the charge of the ion.

Exercise:
1. Determine the oxidation number of nitrogen in N2O5.

2. Determine the oxidation number of tin in SnF4.

3. Determine the oxidation number of chromium in Cr2O72-.

Oxidation number and nomenclature of compounds


1. Many elements, especially transition metals, exhibits more than one oxidation number in their
compounds. To avoid confusion, oxidation numbers are included in the nomenclature or naming
of their compounds.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

2. For instance, oxidation numbers are included in names of simple ionic compounds in the IUPAC
nomenclature. The oxidation number of a metal ion is represented by a Roman numeral in
brackets, immediately following the name of the metal.
Formula IUPAC name Oxidation number of metal ion
FeO Iron (II) oxide +2
Fe2O3 Iron (III) oxide +3
CuCl Copper (I) chloride +1
CuCl2 Copper (II) chloride +2
PbO Lead (II) oxide +2
PbO Lead (IV) oxide +4
MnO Manganese (II) oxide +2
Mn2O3 Manganese (III) oxide +3
MnO2 Manganese (IV) oxide +4

3. For elements that have only one oxidation number such as that in Groups 1, 2 and 13, their
oxidation numbers are not included in their names.
4. Oxidation numbers are also included in the systematic naming of anions containing metals that
can take more than one oxidation number. The oxidation number is represented by a Roman
numeral in brackets, immediately following the name of the anion.
Formula Systematic name Traditional name
KMnO4 Potassium manganate (VII) Potassium permanganate
K2CrO4 Potassium chromate (VI) Potassium chromate
K2Cr2O7 Potassium dichromate (VI) Potassium dichromate

5. For non-metal elements that exhibit more than one oxidation number, the oxidation numbers are
written as Roman numerals in brackets, immediately following the name of ions containing them.
Formula Systematic name Traditional name
KNO2 Potassium nitrate (III) Potassium nitrite
KNO3 Potassium nitrate (V) Potassium nitrate
HNO2 Nitric (III) acid Nitrous acid
HNO3 Nitric (V) acid Nitric acid
H2SO3 Sulphuric (IV) acid Sulphurous acid
H2SO4 Sulphuric (VI) acid Sulphuric acid
NaOCl Sodium chlorate (I) Sodium hypochlorite
NaClO3 Sodium chlorate (V) Sodium chlorate

6. The systematic names shown in table (5), (6) were originally introduced by the Stock system. The
traditional names, are adopted in the IUPAC nomenclature as they already existed for a long time
and they are much easier to use.

Redox reactions based on changes in oxidation number


1. Oxidation occurs when there is an increase in oxidation number. Conversely, reduction occurs
when there is a decrease in oxidation number.
2. These definition can be used to explain many more redox reactions than the previous definitions.
Table below shows how a few redox reactions are explained in terms of changes in oxidation
number. First, each element in all substances is assigned with an oxidation number. Then, the
changes in the oxidation numbers are analysed.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Reaction Explanation
The oxidation number of zinc increases from 0 to
+2. So, zinc is oxidised to zinc ion.
Since oxygen oxidises zinc, oxygen acts as the
oxidising agent.
The oxidation number of oxygen decreases from 0
to -2. So, oxygen is reduced to oxide ion.
Since zinc reduces oxygen, zinc acts as the
reducing agent.
Magnesium is oxidised to magnesium ion whereby
its oxidation number increases from 0 to +2.
Since carbon dioxide oxidises magnesium, carbon
dioxide acts as the oxidising agent.
Carbon dioxide is reduced to carbon whereby the
oxidation number of carbon in carbon dioxide
decreases from +4 to 0.
Magnesium acts as the reducing agent.
Hydroiodic acid is oxidised to iodine as the
oxidation number of iodine in Hydroiodic acid
increases from -1 to 0.
Bromine acts as the oxidising agent.
Bromine is reduced to hydrobromic acid as its
oxidation number decreases from 0 to -1
Hydroiodic acid acts as the reducing agent.
3. In non-redox reactions, the oxidation numbers of all elements remain unchanged.
4. Determining whether a reaction is a redox reaction or a non-redox reaction:
a) If one of the elements shows a change in oxidation number, it is sufficient to conclude
that the reaction is a redox reaction. You need not work out the oxidation numbers of the
other elements. This is because an increase in oxidation number is always accompanied
by a decrease in oxidation number.
b) The oxidation numbers of elements in polyatomic ions such as NH4+, SO42- and NO3-
need not be determined if the ions appear both in the reactants and in the products.
Summary:
Oxidation Reduction
Gain of oxygen Loss of oxygen
Loss of hydrogen Gain of hydrogen
Loss of electrons Gain of electrons
Increases in oxidation number Decreases in oxidation number

Types of redox reactions:


1. Not all chemical reactions are redox reactions. For example, acid-base reactions and double
decomposition reactions (precipitation method) are non-redox reactions. Examples of redox
reactions are shown below:
a) Changing of iron (II) to iron (III) ions and vice versa.
b) Displacement of metal from its salt solution.
c) Displacement of halogen from its halide solution.
d) Transfer of electrons at a distance.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Changing of iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions and vice versa
1. Iron exhibits two oxidation numbers: a) +2 as iron (II) ion, Fe2+
b) +3 as iron (III) ion, Fe3+
2. An aqueous solution containing iron (II) ions, Fe2+ is pale green in colour, whereas that
containing iron (III) ions, Fe3+ is yellow or yellowish-brown or brown in colour.
3. Changing iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions is an oxidation and therefore requires an oxidising
agent. Fe2+(aq) Fe3+(aq) +
Oxidation number:
4. Changing iron (III) ions to iron (II) ions is a reduction and therefore requires a reducing
agent. Fe3+(aq) + Fe2+(aq)
Oxidation number:
Reagent Iron ions Observation
Fe2+ Green precipitate, insoluble in excess alkali
Sodium hydroxide solution or ammonia solution
Fe3+ Brown precipitate, insoluble in excess alkali
Fe2+ Light blue precipitation
Potassium hexacyanoferrate (II) solution
Fe3+ Dark blue precipitation
Fe2+ Dark blue precipitation
Potassium hexacyanoferrate (III) solution
Fe3+ Greenish-brown precipitation
Fe2+ Pale red colouration
Potassium or ammonium thiocyanate solution
Fe3+ Blood-red colouration

Laboratory work 3.2: Page (71-73)


Aim To investigate oxidation and reduction in the change of iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions and vice versa.
Materials 0.5 mol dm-3 freshly prepared iron (II) sulphate solution, 0.5 mol dm-3 iron (III) sulphate solution,
bromine water, zinc powder, 2.0 mol dm-3 sodium hydroxide solution, filter paper
Apparatus Dropper, spatula, test tubes, test tube holder, Bunsen burner, filter funnel, test tube rack
(A) Changing of iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions
Procedure 1. 2 cm3 of 0.5 mol dm-3 iron (II) sulphate solution is poured into a test tube.
2. Using a dropper, bromine water is added to the solution drop by drop.
3. The test tube is warmed gently.
4. 2.0 mol dm-3 sodium hydroxide solution is added slowly to the mixture until in excess.
(B) Changing of iron (III) ions to iron (II) ions
Procedure 1. 2 cm3 of 0.5 mol dm-3 iron (III) sulphate solution is poured into a test tube.
2. Half a spatula of zinc powder is added to the solution.
3. The mixture is filtered.
4. 2.0 mol dm-3 sodium hydroxide solution is added slowly to the filtrate until in excess.
Observation Activity Reagent Observations
A Bromine water Bromine water decolourises. The solution changes colour
from pale green to yellow.
Sodium hydroxide Brown precipitate is formed. It is insoluble in excess alkali.
solution
B Zinc powder Some of the zinc powder dissolves. The solution changes
colour from brown to pale green.
Sodium hydroxide Green precipitate is formed. It is insoluble in excess alkali.
solution

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Discussion (A) Changing of iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions


1. Bromine water oxidises iron (II) ions, Fe2+ to iron (III) ions, Fe3+. The presence of Fe3+ ions
is confirmed by the formation of brown precipitate with sodium hydroxide solution.
2. Fe2+ ions lose their electrons and are oxidised to Fe3+ ions.
3. Bromine molecules, which give the bromine water its brown colour, gain the electrons and are
reduced to colourless bromide ions, Br-. This explains why the bromine water is decolourised.
4. In this reaction, bromine water acts as oxidising agent, whereas Fe2+ ions act as the reducing
agent.
5. Oxidation half-reactions: Fe2+(aq) Fe3+(aq) +
Reduction half-reactions: Br2 (aq) + 2 2 Br- (aq)
Overall ionic equations: 2 Fe2+(aq) + Br2 (aq) 2 Fe3+(aq) + 2 Br- (aq)
(B) Changing of iron (III) ions to iron (II) ions
Discussion 1. Zinc powder reduces iron (III) ions, Fe3+ to iron (II) ions, Fe2+. The presence of Fe2+ ions is
confirmed by the formation of green precipitate with sodium hydroxide solution.
2. Zinc atoms lose their electrons and are oxidised to zinc ion, Zn2+. This explains why zinc
powder dissolves in iron (III) sulphate solution.
3. Fe3+ ions accept these electrons and are reduced to Fe2+ ions.
4. In this reaction, Fe3+ ions act as the oxidising agent, whereas zinc acts as the reducing agent.
5. Oxidation half-reactions: Zn (s) Zn2+(aq) + 2
Reduction half-reactions: Fe3+(aq) + Fe2+(aq)
Overall ionic equations: Zn (s) + 2 Fe3+(aq) Zn2+(aq) + 2 Fe2+(aq)
Conclusion 1. Bromine water acts as an oxidising agent, changing iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions.
2. Zinc acts as a reducing agent, changing iron (III) ions to iron (II) ions.

5. The following are other oxidising agents that can replace bromine water in changing iron (II) ions
to iron (III) ions.
Oxidising agent Overall ionic equation
Chlorine water 2 Fe (aq) + Cl2 (aq) 2 Fe3+(aq) + 2 Cl-(aq)
2+

Acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution MnO-4 (aq) + 8 H+(aq) + 5 Fe2+(aq) Mn2+(aq) + 5 Fe3+(aq) + 4 H2O(l)
Acidified potassium dichromate (VI) solution Cr2O72-(aq) + 14 H+(aq) + 6 Fe2+(aq) 2 Cr3+ (aq) + 6 Fe3+(aq) +7 H2O(l)
Hydrogen peroxide H2O2 (aq) + 2 H+(aq) + 2 Fe2+(aq) 2 Fe3+(aq) + 2 H2O(l)
Concentrated nitric acid 2 NO3-(aq) + 8H+(aq) + 6 Fe2+(aq) 2 NO (g) + 6 Fe3+(aq) + 4 H2O(l)

6. Other reducing agents that can replace zinc powder in changing iron (III) ions to iron (II) ions are
as follows.
Reducing agent Overall ionic equation
Magnesium Mg(s) + 2 Fe3+(aq) Mg2+(aq) + 2 Fe2+(aq)
Sulphur dioxide SO2 (g) + 2 H2O(l) + 2 Fe3+(aq) 2 Fe2+(aq) + SO42-(aq) + 4 H+ (aq)
Hydrogen sulphide H2S(g) + 2 Fe3+(aq) 2 Fe2+(aq) + 2 H+(aq) + S(s)
Sodium sulphite solution SO32-(aq) + 2 Fe3+(aq) + H2O (l) SO42-(aq) + 2 Fe2+(aq) + 2 H+(aq)
Tin (II) chloride solution Sn2+(aq) + 2 Fe2+(aq) Sn4+ (aq) + 2 Fe2+(aq)

Displacement of metal from its salt solution


1. Generally, metals are good electron donors and therefore are good reducing agents. However,
different metals have different strength as reducing agents.
2. The strength of metals as reducing agents can be compared by using the electrochemical series.
3. The electrochemical series lists metals according to their electropositivity that is according to
their ability to lose electrons to form positive ions.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

4. The higher the position of a metal in the electrochemical series, the more electropositive the metal
is, the easier it is for it to lose its electrons. Thus, the better reducing agent the metal is.
5. On the other hand, the ability of a metal ion to accept electrons increases down the series. Hence,
the strength of a metal ions as an oxidising agent increases down the electrochemical series.
6. In a displacement of metal, a more electropositive metal will displace a less electropositive
metal from its salt solution.
a) The more electropositive metal acts as the reducing agent. It loses electrons and
undergoes oxidation to form positive ions.
b) The ions of the less electropositive metal act as an oxidising agent by accepting the
electrons. While doing so, the ions are reduced to metallic atoms.
c) There is an electron transfer from the more electropositive metal to the ions of the less
electropositive metal.
Transfer of electrons
More electropositive metal Ions of less electropositive metal

Laboratory Work 3.3: Page (73-74)


Aim To investigate oxidation and reduction in the displacement of metals.
Materials Zinc strip, copper strip, 0.5 mol dm-3 copper (II) sulphate solution, 0.1 mol dm-3 silver nitrate
solution, sandpaper
Apparatus Test tubes, test tube rack
Procedure 1. 2 cm3 of 0.5 mol dm-3 copper (II) sulphate solution and 2 cm3 of 0.1 mol dm-3 silver nitrate
solution are poured into two separate test tubes.
2. A strip of zinc and a strip of copper are cleaned with
sandpaper. The strips are then dropped into the test
tubes as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Apparatus set up


3.
Any change in colour and whether any metal is deposited are observed.
Observation Test tube Observations
X The blue colour of the solution slowly fades until it becomes colourless
The zinc strip dissolves
A brown solid is deposited
Y The colourless solution slowly turns blue
The copper strip dissolves
A silvery grey solid is deposited
Discussion 1. In test tube X, zinc displaces copper from its salt solution.
a) Zinc is more electropositive than copper. Thus, zinc acts as the reducing agent, losing
electrons to form zinc ions. By doing so, zinc is oxidised. This explains why the zinc strip
dissolves.
Oxidation half-reactions: Zn (s) Zn2+(aq) + 2

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

b) The electrons are accepted by copper (II) ions in the solution. Thus, copper (II) ions act as
the oxidising agent and are reduced to metallic copper. The brown solid deposited in test
tube X is copper metal.
Reduction half-reactions: Cu2+ (aq) + 2 Cu (s)
c) The decreasing amount of copper (II) ions in the solution causes the solution to slowly
change colour from blue to colourless.
d) The redox reaction that occurs can be represented by the following equations.
Overall ionic equations: Zn (s) + Cu2+(aq) Zn2+(aq) + Cu (s)
2. In test tube Y, copper displaces silver from its salt solution.
a) Copper is more electropositive than silver. So, copper acts as the reducing agent, losing
electrons to form copper (II) ions. In other words, copper is oxidised. This explains why the
copper strip dissolves.
Oxidation half-reactions: Cu (s) + 2 Cu2+ (aq)
b) The increasing amount of copper (II) ions in the solution causes the solution to slowly
change colour from colourless to blue.
c) The electrons are accepted by silver ions in the solutions. Thus, silver ions act as the
oxidising agent and are reduced to silver grey silver.
Reduction half-reactions: Ag+ (aq) + Ag(s)
d) The redox reaction that occurs can be represented by the following equation.
Overall ionic equations: Cu (s) + 2 Ag+ (aq) Cu2+ (aq) + 2 Ag(s)
Conclusion A more electropositive metal can displace a less electropositive metal from its salt solution
whereby the more electropositive acts as the reducing agent and the ions of the less
electropositive metal act as the oxidising agent.

Displacement of halogen from its halide solution


1. Generally, halogens are good electron acceptors and therefore are good oxidising agent.
a) When going down Group 17, the size of the halogen atoms increases. The nucleus is
further away from the outermost occupied shell.
b) Hence, the electronegativity of halogens or their ability to accept electrons to form
negatively-charged halide ions decreases down the group.
c) As a result, the strength of halogens as oxidising agents decreases down the group.
2. Chlorine, bromine and iodine are three commonly used halogens in the laboratory. Each of them
gives different colour in aqueous solution. However, the colour changes with concentration.
3. Therefore, the presence of the halogens is confirmed using an organic solvent
such as 1, 1, 1- trichloroethane, CH3CCl3.
4. This is done by mixing thoroughly 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane, CH3CCl3 to an aqueous
solution of a halogen. Two layers will be formed whereby the denser 1, 1, 1-
trichloroethane, CH3CCl3 will be at the bottom and less dense aqueous will be at the top.

Halogen Colour of halogen in aqueous solution Colour of halogen in 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane, CH3CCl3.


Chlorine Pale yellow or colourless Pale yellow or colourless
Bromine Brown, yellowish-brown or yellow, Brown, orange or yellow, depending on concentration
depending on concentration
Iodine Brown, yellowish-brown or yellow, Purple
depending on concentration

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Laboratory work 3.4: Page (74-76)


Aim To investigate the oxidation and reduction in displacement of halogen.
Materials Chlorine water, bromine water, iodine solution, 0.5 mol dm-3 potassium chloride solution, 0.5 mol
dm-3 potassium bromide solution, 0.5 mol dm-3 potassium iodide solution, 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane,
CH3CCl3
Apparatus Test tube, test tube rack
Procedure 1. 2 cm3 of 0.5 mol dm-3 potassium bromide solution is poured into a test tube.
2. 2 cm3 of chlorine water is added to the test tube and mixture is shaken thoroughly.
3. 2 cm3 of 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane, CH3CCl3 is added to the mixture. The mixture is shaken
thoroughly.
4. After a few seconds, the colour of the aqueous and the 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane, CH3CCl3 layers
are observed.
5. Steps 1 to 4 are repeated using the halogens and halide solutions as shown in table below.
Results Mixture Colour of Colour of 1, 1, 1- Inferences
aqueous layer trichloroethane, layer
Chlorine + Yellow Orange Bromine is present. Displacement
potassium bromide of bromine has occurred.
Chlorine + Yellow Purple Iodine is present. Displacement of
potassium iodide iodine has occurred.
Bromine + Yellow Orange Bromine is present. No
potassium chloride displacement reaction has occurred.
Bromine + Yellow Purple Iodine is present. Displacement of
potassium iodide iodine has occurred.
Iodine + potassium Yellow Purple Iodine is present. No displacement
chloride reaction has occurred.
Iodine + potassium Yellow Purple Iodine is present. No displacement
bromide reaction has occurred.
Discussion 1. The results can be summarised as follows.
Halogen
Chlorine Bromine Iodine
Halide solution
Potassium chloride X X
Potassium bromide X
Potassium iodide
A tick shows that a displacement of halogen has taken place, whereas a cross X shows
that there is no displacement of halogen.
2. Chlorine is more electronegative than bromine and iodine. Therefore,
a) Chlorine displaces bromine from potassium bromide solution. Chlorine acts as the oxidising
agent, whereas bromide ions act as the reducing agent.
Oxidation: 2 Br-(aq) Br2 (aq) + 2
Reduction: Cl2 (aq) + 2 2 Cl- (aq)
Overall ionic equation: 2 Br-(aq) + Cl2 (aq) Br2 (aq) + 2 Cl- (aq)
b) Chlorine displaces iodine from potassium iodide solution. Chlorine acts as the oxidising agent,
whereas iodide ions act as the reducing agent.
Oxidation: 2 I-(aq) I2 (aq) + 2
Reduction: Cl2 (aq) + 2 2 Cl- (aq)
Overall ionic equation: 2 I-(aq) + Cl2 (aq) I2 (aq) + 2 Cl- (aq)
3. Bromine is less electronegative than chlorine. Therefore, bromine cannot displace chlorine from
potassium chloride solution.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Bromine is more electronegative than iodine. Therefore, bromine displaces iodine from
potassium iodide solution. Bromine acts as the oxidising agent, whereas iodide ions act as the
reducing agent.
Oxidation: 2 I-(aq) I2 (aq) + 2
Reduction: Br2 (aq) + 2 2 Br- (aq)
Overall ionic equation: 2 I-(aq) + Br2 (aq) I2 (aq) + 2 Br- (aq)
4. Iodine is less electronegative than chlorine and bromine. Therefore,
a) Iodine cannot displace chlorine from potassium chloride solution.
b) Iodine cannot displace bromine from potassium bromide solution.
Conclusion A more electronegative halogen can displace a less electronegative halogen from its halide solution
whereby the more electronegative halogen acts as the oxidising agent and the halide ions of the less
electronegative halogen act as the reducing agent.

5. In a displacement of a halogen, a more electronegative halogen displaces a less electronegative


halogen from its halide solution.
a) The halide ions of the less electronegative halogen act as the reducing agent. They lose
their electrons and are oxidised to form halogen molecules.
b) The electrons are accepted by the more electronegative halogen which acts as the
oxidising agent. By doing so, the halogen undergoes reduction to form its halide ions.
c) In short, there is an electron transfer from the halide ions of the less electronegative
halogen to the more electronegative halogen.
Halide ions of less Transfer of electrons More electronegative halogen
electronegative halogens

Reducing agent Oxidising agent

Transfer of electrons at a distance


1. In all redox reactions, electrons are transferred from the reducing
agent to the oxidising agent.
2. When the reducing and oxidising
agent are mixed together as in the
previous reactions, the transfer of
electrons occurs quickly and cannot
be detected.
3. However, when the reducing and
oxidising agents are separated by an
electrolyte in a U-tube as shown in
Figure 4, the transfer of electrons
occurs through the connecting wires Figure 4: Transfer of electrons
and can be detected by a galvanometer.
4. The reducing agent loses its electrons and hence undergoes oxidation. The electrode at which
electrons are released by the reducing agent is called the negative terminal.
5. The electrons then flow through the connecting wires to the
oxidising agent. The electrode at which electrons are accepted by the oxidising agent is called the
positive terminal.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

6. As the oxidising agent accepts the electrons, it undergoes reduction.


7. The electrolyte allows the movement of ions to take place, thus completing the electric circuit.
This ensures a continuous flow of electrons in the external circuit.
Laboratory work 3.5: Page (77-80)
Aim To investigate oxidation and reduction in the transfer of electrons at a distance
Materials 2.0 mol dm-3 sulphuric acid, 0.5 mol dm-3 freshly prepared iron (II) sulphate solution, 0.2 mol dm-3
acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution, 0.5 mol dm-3 potassium iodide solution, 0.2 mol dm-3
acidified potassium dichromate (VI) solution, 0.2 mol dm-3 potassium thiocyanate solution, 1% starch
solution.
Apparatus U-tube, galvanometer, connecting wires with crocodile clips, carbon electrodes, retort stand and
clamp, test tube, dropper, stoppers with one hole.
Procedure 1. A U-tube is clamped to a retort stand as shown in Figure 5 below.

2. Dilute sulphuric acid is poured into the U-tube until its levels are 6 cm away from the mouths of
the U-tube.
3. Using a dropper, 0.5 mol dm-3 iron (II) sulphate solution is carefully added to one of the arms of
the U-tube until the layer of iron (III) sulphate solution reaches the height of 3 cm.
4. In a similar manner as in step 3, 0.2 mol dm-3 acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution is
added to the other arm of the U-tube.
5. A carbon electrode is placed in each arm of the U-tube.
Caution: the electrodes should not touch the sulphuric acid layer.
6. The electrodes are connected to a galvanometer as shown in Figure 5. Based on the deflection of
the galvanometer, the electrodes that act as the positive terminal and negative terminal are
determined.
7. The set-up is left aside for 30 minutes. Any change is observed.
8. Using a clean dropper, 1 cm3 of iron (II) sulphate solution is drawn out and placed in a test tube.
Then, a few drops of 0.2 mol dm-3 potassium thiocyanate solution are added to the test tube.
Any change is observed.
9. Steps 1 to 7 are repeated using 0.5 mol dm-3 potassium iodide solution and 0.2 mol dm-3
acidified potassium dichromate (VI) solution to replace the iron (II) sulphate solution and
acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution. Step 8 is repeated to test the potassium iodide
solution with 1 % starch solution.
Results Solution used: Iron (II) sulphate solution and acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution
Observation Inference
a) The electrode in the iron (II) sulphate solution acts Electrons flow from iron (II) sulphate
as the negative terminal while the electrode in the solution to acidified potassium manganate
acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution acts (VII) solution.
as the positive terminal.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

b) Iron (II) sulphate solution changes from pale At the end of the reaction, iron (III) ions are
green to yellow. It gives blood-red colouration present. Iron (II) ions have changed to iron
with potassium thiocyanate solution. (III) ions.
c) The purple acidified potassium manganate (VII) Manganate (VII) ions that give the solution
solution decolourises. its purple colour are used up in the reaction.

Solution used: Potassium iodide solution and acidified potassium dichromate (VI) solution
Observation Inference
a) The electrode in the potassium iodide solution acts as the Electrons flow from potassium
negative terminal, whereas the electrode in the acidified iodide solution to acidified
potassium dichromate (VI) solution acts as the positive potassium dichromate (VI) solution.
terminal.
b) The colourless potassium iodide solution turns brown. It At the end of the reaction, iodine is
gives a dark blue colouration with starch solution. present. Iodide ions have changed
to iodine.
c) Potassium dichromate (VI) solution changes colour from Dichromate (VI) ions have changed
orange to green. to chromium (III) ions.
Discussion 1. Iron (II) sulphate solution and acidified potassium manganate (VII) solution

a) Iron (II) ions act as the reducing agent, releasing electrons to become iron (III) ions. Thus, iron
(II) sulphate solution changes colour from pale green to yellow.
Oxidation half-equations: Fe2+(aq) Fe3+(aq) +
(Pale green) (yellow)
b) The electrons accumulate at the carbon electrode in the iron (II) sulphate solution and flow out
to the connecting wires. This carbon electrode acts as the negative terminal.
c) The electrons then flow to the positive terminal, which is the carbon electrode in the acidified
potassium manganate (VII) solution.
d) Manganate (VII) ions act as the oxidising agent, accepting the electrons and therefore,
undergoing reduction to become colourless manganese (II) ions.
Reduction half-equations: MnO-4 (aq) + 8 H+(aq) + 5 Mn2+(aq) + 4 H2O(l)
(Purple) (Colourless)
e) Overall ionic equation: MnO-4 (aq) + 8 H+(aq) + 5 Fe2+(aq) Mn2+(aq) + 5 Fe3+(aq) + 4 H2O(l)
2. Potassium iodide solution and acidified potassium dichromate (VI) solution
a) Iodide ions act as the reducing agent, releasing electrons to become iodine molecules. Thus, the
colourless potassium iodide solution turns brown. Oxidation: 2 I-(aq) I2 (aq) + 2
(Colourless) (Brown)
b) The electrons accumulate at the carbon electrode in the potassium iodide solution and flow out
to the connecting wires. This carbon electrode acts as the negative terminal.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

c) The electrons then flow to the positive terminal, which is the carbon electrode in the acidified
potassium dichromate (VI) solution.
d) Dichromate (VI) ions act as the oxidising agent, accepting the electrons and therefore,
undergoing reduction to become chromium (III) ions.
Reduction half-equation: Cr2O72-(aq) + 14 H+(aq) + 6 (aq) 2 Cr3+ (aq) +7 H2O(l)
e) Overall ionic equation: Cr2O72-(aq) + 14 H+(aq) + 6 Fe2+(aq) 2 Cr3+ (aq) + 6 Fe3+(aq) +7 H2O(l)
3. The continuous flow of electros from the reducing agent at the negative terminal to the oxidising
agent at the positive terminal produces an electric current that causes the indicator of the
galvanometer to deflect.
4. Sulphuric acid has two functions:
- To separate the reducing agent from the oxidising agent
- To complete the circuit by allowing the transfer of ions to occur
5. Other electrolyte such as potassium nitrate solution and sodium chloride solution can be used in
place of sulphuric acid. The electrolyte should not react with wither the reducing agent or the
oxidising agent used.
6. There are few other pairs of reducing agent and oxidising agent that can be used in this activity.
Here are some examples:
Reducing Oxidising Equations involved
agent agent
Iron (II) Acidifies Fe2+(aq) Fe3+(aq) +
sulphate potassium Cr2O7 (aq) + 14 H+(aq) + 6 (aq) 2 Cr3+ (aq) +7 H2O(l)
2-

solution dichromate Cr2O7 (aq) + 14 H+(aq) + 6 Fe2+(aq) 2 Cr3+ (aq) + 6 Fe3+(aq) +7 H2O(l)
2-

(VI) solution
Potassium Bromine water 2 I-(aq) I2 (aq) + 2
iodide Br2 (aq) + 2 2 Br- (aq)
solution 2 I (aq) + Br2 (aq) I2 (aq) + 2 Br- (aq)
-

Potassium Iron (III) 2 I-(aq) I2 (aq) + 2


iodide sulphate Fe3+(aq) + Fe2+(aq)
solution solution 2 I-(aq) + 2 Fe3+ (aq) I2 (aq) + 2 Fe2+ (aq)

Conclusion The transfer of electrons occurs from the reducing agent to the oxidising agent through the
connecting wires.
8. When polyatomic ions such as manganate (VII) ion and dichromate (VI) ion are involved in
redox reactions, the half-equations are more complex. The following tables illustrate how the
half-equations are constructed.
Constructing reduction half-equation involving manganate (VII) ions
Step Half-equation
1. Identify the main change. MnO4- (aq) Mn2+(aq)
- Manganate (VII) ions are changed to
manganese (II) ions.
2. Identify other reacting substances MnO4- (aq) + H+ (aq) Mn2+(aq) + H2O(l)
- In an acidified solution, hydrogen ions also
take part in the reaction, forming water.
3. Balance the number of atoms of each
element
4. Balance the equation with respect to
charge. 5 should be added to the left-hand side of the equation,
producing the following final half-equation.
MnO-4 (aq) + 8 H+(aq) + 5 Mn2+(aq) + 4 H2O(l)

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Constructing reduction half-equation involving dichromate (VI) ions


Step Half-equation
1. Identify the main change. MnO4- (aq) Mn2+(aq)
- Dichromate (VI) ions are changed to chromium
(III) ions.
2. Identify other reacting substances MnO4- (aq) + H+ (aq) Mn2+(aq) + H2O(l)
- In an acidified solution, hydrogen ions also take
part in the reaction, forming water.
3. Balance the number of atoms of each element
4. Balance the equation with respect to charge.

6 should be added to the left-hand side of the


equation, producing the following final half-equation.
Cr2O72-(aq) + 14 H+(aq) + 6 2 Cr3+ (aq) +7 H2O(l)
Note: Neutralisation and precipitation reactions are not redox reactions.

Exercise:
1. Based on loss or gain of oxygen or hydrogen, identify the oxidised substance, reduced substance,
oxidising agent and reducing agent in each of the following redox reactions.
a) CuO (s) + H2 (g) H2O (l) + Cu (s)
b) 2 HI (aq) + Cl2 (g) I2 (s) + 2 HCl (aq)
c) ZnO (s) + C (s) Zn (s) + CO (g)
d) 4 NH3 (g) + 5 O2 (g) 4 NO (g) + 6 H2O (l)

2. Sodium burns in oxygen to form sodium oxide as shown in the following equation.
4 Na (s) + O2 (g) 2 Na2O (s)
a) Write the half-equations. _____________________________________________
b) Based on loss or gain of electrons, explain why it is said that

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

i) Sodium is oxidised.
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
ii) Oxygen is reduced.
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
c) Identify the oxidising agent and reducing agent respectively.
________________________________________________________________________
3. Determine the oxidation number of the underlined element in each of the following substances.
a) KCN b) CO c) NO2-

d) Cu2O e) Mg3N2 f) Cl2

g) MnO2 h) VO2+ i) ClO2-

4. Based on changes in oxidation number, determine which of the following reactions are redox
reaction. For each redox reaction, determine the oxidised substance, reduced substance, oxidising
agent and reducing agent.

I Zn (s) + H2SO4 (aq) ZnSO4 (aq) + H2 (g)

II Pb (NO3)2 (aq) + H2CrO4 (aq) PbCrO4 (s) + 2 HNO3 (aq)

III Mg (s) + 2Ag+ (aq) Mg2+ (aq) + 2 Ag (s)

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

3.2 RUSTING AS A REDOX REACTION


Corrosion of metal
1. When metals are exposed to their environment, they undergo corrosion. For example, after some
time, a shiny aluminium pot will lose its shine, silverware will tarnish and an iron structure will
rust.
2. Corrosion of metal is a redox reaction in which a metal is oxidised naturally to its ions, resulting
in partial or complete destruction of the metal.
3. During corrosion, the metal atoms lose electrons to form a positive ions. M Mn++ n
4. Some metals corrode more easily than other. How easily a metal corrodes depends on two factors:
a) Electropositivity of metals
b) Nature of the product of corrosion
5. Electropositivity of metals

6. Nature of the product of corrosion


When a metal corrodes, it usually forms an oxide coating.
a) The oxide coating of aluminium, for example, is tightly packed, non-porous and is firmly
attached to the metal. It does not let water and air penetrate through it, protecting the
aluminium underneath from further corrosion. This explains why aluminium is quite
resistant to corrosion even though it is very electropositive. Other metals with similar
protective oxide coating include nickel, chromium, tin, lead and zinc.
b) The oxide coating of iron on the other hand, is not tightly packed, porous weak and easily
peels off. Thus, water and air can penetrate through the coating to further corrode the iron
metal underneath it.
7. Table below shows the comparison of the resistance to corrosion of some common metals.
Metal Resistance to corrosion
Iron **
Nickel ***
Copper ***
Aluminium ***
Lead ****
Tin ****
Zinc *****
Gold ******

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Rusting as a redox reaction


1. Rusting is the corrosion of iron. It is the most common corrosion of metal around.
2. For iron to rust, oxygen and water must be present. Rusting is a redox reaction whereby oxygen
acts as the oxidising agent and iron acts as the reducing agent.
3. Figure 6 shows the half-reactions of rusting.

4. The surface of iron at the middle of the water droplet serves as the anode, the electrode at which
oxidation occurs. The iron atoms here lose electrons to form iron (II) ions.
Oxidation half-equations: Fe(s) Fe2+ (aq) + 2
5. The electrons flow to the edge of the water droplet, where there is plenty of dissolved oxygen.
The iron surface there serves as the cathode, the electrode at which reduction occurs. Oxygen
gains the electrons and is reduced to hydroxide ions.
Reduction half-equations: O2 (g) + 2 H2O (l) + 4 4 OH- (aq)
6. The iron (II) ions produced combine with the hydroxide ions to form iron (II) hydroxide.
Fe2+ (aq) + 2 OH- (aq) Fe (OH)2 (aq)
Overall redox reaction:
At the anode : 2 Fe(s) 2 Fe2+ (aq) + 4
At the cathode : O2 (g) + 2 H2O (l) + 4 4 OH- (aq)
Overall equation : 2 Fe(s) + O2 (g) + 2 H2O (l) 2 Fe2+ (aq) + 4 OH- (aq)
2 Fe(s) + O2 (g) + 2 H2O (l) 2 Fe (OH)2 (aq)
7. The iron (II) hydroxide is then further oxidised by oxygen to form hydrated iron (III) oxide,
Fe2O3 xH2O whereby x varies. The hydrates come in various shades of brown and orange and
together make up what is commonly known as rust.
8. In the presence of acids and salts, rusting occurs faster. These substances increase the electrical
conductivity of water, making water a better electrolyte. For example,
a) Iron structures such as bridges, fences and car at coastal areas rust faster due to presence
of salts in the coastal breeze.
b) Iron structures in industrial areas rust quickly as these areas have air polluted with acidic
gases such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Other metals and rusting of iron
1. When two metals are in contact with each other, the more electropositive metal will corrode first.
This is simply because more electropositive metal can lose its electrons more readily than the less
electropositive metal.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

2. So, when iron is in contact with a more electropositive metal, rusting of iron is prevented or
inhibited. For example,
Magnesium is more electropositive than iron. So, when iron is in contact with magnesium,
magnesium corrodes or is oxidised instead of iron.
Mg (s) Mg2+ (aq) + 2
3. When iron is in contact with a less electropositive metal, rusting of iron is speeded up. For
example,
Copper is less electropositive than iron. Therefore, when iron is in contact with copper, iron rust
faster. Fe (s) Fe2+ (aq) + 2
4. The further apart the metals are in the electrochemical series, the faster the more electropositive
metal corrodes. For example, Iron rusts faster when in contact with copper than when it is in
contact with tin.

Experiment 3.1: Page (81-83)


Aim To investigate the effect of other metals on rusting
Problem Statement How do different types of metals in contact with iron affect rusting?
Hypothesis When a more electropositive metal is in contact with iron, the metal inhibits rusting. When a
less electropositive metal is in contact with iron, the metal speeds up rusting.
Variables
Manipulated variable Different metals in contact with iron
Responding variable Presence of blue colouration
Fixed variable Clean iron nails, medium in which the iron nails are kept, temperature
Operational definition Blue colouration indicates rusting of iron.
Apparatus Test tube, test tube rack
Materials Iron nails, magnesium ribbon, copper strip, zinc strip, tin strip, hot jelly solution containing a
little potassium hexacyanoferrate (III) solution and phenolphthalein, sandpaper.
Procedure 1. All five iron nails, magnesium ribbon, strips of copper, zinc and tin are cleaned with sandpaper.
2. Four iron nails are coiled tightly with magnesium ribbon, strips of copper, zinc and tin each.
3. All five iron nails are placed in five separate test tube as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Investigating the effect of other metals on rusting


4. The same amount of hot jelly solution containing potassium hexacyanoferrate (III) solution and
phenolphthalein indicator is poured into the test tubes to completely cover all the nails.
5. The test tubes are kept in a test tube rack and left aside for a day. Any changes are observed.
Safety measures :
Potassium hexacyanoferrate (III), K3Fe (CN) 6 solution is poisonous. Thus, hot jelly solution should
be handled with care.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Results Test Intensity of dark


Pair of metals Pink colouration Inference regarding rusting
tube blue colouration
I Fe only Low Present The iron nail rusts a little.
II Fe + Mg None Present The iron nail does not rust.
III Fe + Cu Very high Present The iron nail rusts very quickly.
IV Fe + Zn None Present The iron nail does not rust.
V Fe + Sn High Present The iron nail rusts quickly.
Discussion 1. During rusting, iron (II) ions are produced. These ions form dark blue colouration with potassium
hexacyanoferrate (III). The more iron (II) ions are produced, the higher the intensity of the dark blue
colouration.
2. During corrosion of a metal, the reduction of oxygen form hydroxide ion, thus giving rise to basic
condition. The hydroxide ions give pink colouration with phenolphthalein.
3. The jelly is used to enable us see the blue and pink colourations clearly as diffusion occurs slowly in
a solid state. Otherwise, the blue and pink colourations are mixed up and difficult to distinguish.
4. Since pink colouration is found in all test tubes, it is inferred that corrosion of metal has taken place
in each test tube. The metal that corrodes must either be the iron nail or the metal it is in contact
with.
5. Sometimes, the pink colouration is not clear as the hydroxide ions formed immediately combine
with the metal ions. Thus, not many free hydroxide ions are present in the jelly.
6. Test tube I: Acts as control. The iron nail rusts a little.
7. Test tube II:
a) Magnesium is more electropositive than iron. This means that magnesium can lose its electrons
more readily than iron. Therefore, magnesium is oxidised. Magnesium acts as the anode.
Mg (s) Mg2+ (aq) + 2
b) The electrons flow to iron which acts as the cathode. At the cathode, the electrons are gained by
oxygen. Thus, oxygen undergoes reduction, producing hydroxide ions which give pink colouration
with phenolphthalein. O2 (g) + 2 H2O (l) + 4 4 OH- (aq)
c) The iron nail does not corrode. This explains the absence of blue colouration in this test tube.
8. Test tube III
a) Iron is more electropositive than copper. This means that iron can lose its electrons more readily
than copper. Therefore, iron rusts or is oxidised. Iron acts as the anode. Fe(s) Fe2+ (aq) + 2
b) Since iron and copper have a large difference in electropositivity, the rusting of iron occurs very
quickly, producing a large amount of iron (II) ions. This explains the high intensity of blue
colouration in this test tube.
c) The electrons flow to copper which acts as the cathode. At the cathode, the electrons are gained by
oxygen, thus reducing oxygen to hydroxide ions. The presence of hydroxide ions is indicated by the
pink colouration.
9. Test tube IV
Similar to test tube II, the iron nail in this test tubes does not corrode, thus no dark blue colouration
is found. Zinc acts as the anode and is oxidised as zinc is more electropositive than iron.
Zn(s) Zn2+ (aq) + 2
10. Test tube V
Similar to test tube III, the iron nail acts as the anode and rust. This is because iron is more
electropositive than tin. Fe(s) Fe2+ (aq) + 2
However, the rate of rusting in test tube V is lower than that in test tube III as the difference in
electropositivity between iron and tin is smaller than the difference in electropositivity between iron
and copper.
Conclusion 1. Rusting is inhibited when iron is in contact with a more electropositive metal.
2. Rusting is speeded up when iron is in contact with a less electropositive metal.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Controlling rusting
Generally, there are three main ways to control rusting.
Using protective coating Alloying Sacrificial protection
- Prevent water and air from reaching the surface of iron. Stainless steel is a corrosion resisting Iron is attached to a more
- Various materials can be sued as the protective coating, depending on the alloy of iron. electropositive metal which acts
costing and usage of iron items. - It contains carbon and a varying as the sacrificial metal.
(A) Oil and grease - used for moving parts of engine amount of chromium and nickel. - It is used for objects that are
(B) Paints The typical stainless steel contains exposed to conditions that speed
- Used for items that are not easily scratched such as cars, ships, bridges, about 18% chromium and 8 % up rusting such as water and sea
railings and gates. nickel. water.
- Example: - Thus, stainless steel is expensive - For example, bridge pillars and
1. Most modern cars have a few layers of anti-rust coating and paints on and is mainly used for small objects hulls of ship are usually attached
them. such as cutlery and decorative to zinc blocks while
2. Some pots and plates have enamel-paint coated on them items. underground pipelines are tied
I Plastics - Used for light items such as clothes hanger and wire fences. - The chromium and nickel provide a to bags of magnesium.
(D) Galvanising (zinc plating) protective oxide coating which is - Being more electropositive, the
- Involves coating an iron or steel sheet with a thin layer of zinc. firmly bonded to the iron and is not sacrificial metal would act as the
- This is done by dipping the iron into molten zinc. easily removed. Furthermore, the anode whereby it is oxidised,
1. Galvanising is used on objects that are exposed to the atmosphere, such as oxide coating is shiny, hence giving protecting iron from rusting.
iron roofing, water tanks and iron rubbish bins. stainless steel and attractive, mirror- Thus, the sacrificial metal is also
2. Galvanised iron is prevented from rusting in two ways. Firstly, the zinc like finish. known as the sacrificial anode.
layer provides a protective oxide coating. - The sacrificial metal has to be
3. When the galvanised iron is scratched, zinc corrodes first instead of iron renewed from time to time.
because zinc is more electropositive than iron.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

I Tin plating
- An iron or steel sheet is coated with a very thin coating of tin.
- This is done by dipping the iron into molten tin or by electroplating an iron
sheet using tin (IV) chloride as the electrolyte.
1. Tin plating usually used for making tin cans as tin is very expensive. After
tin plating, the inside of the can is coated with a thin layer of plastic.
2. The tin provides a protective oxide coating to the cans. The cans do not
rust as long as the tin coating remains unbroken.
3. However, as soon as the can is scratched, rusting will occur quickly. This
is because iron is more electropositive than tin. Hence, food is dented or
scratched tin cans should not be consumed.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Exercise:
1. Explain each of the following statement.
a) When a metal corrodes, it undergoes oxidation.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
b) Platinum is very resistant to corrosion.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
c) Aluminium is more electropositive than iron but it is more resistant to corrosion than
iron.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

2. a) Write the oxidation and reduction half-equations to represent the rusting of iron.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
b) State one example whereby a more electropositive metal is used to prevent rusting.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
c) State one example whereby a less electropositive metal is used to prevent rusting.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

3. Three clean iron nails are placed in three separate petri dishes containing hot jelly, potassium
hexacyanoferrate (III) solution and phenolphthalein as shown below.

The following table shows the results obtained after a day.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Petri dishes A B C
Observation Large blue and pink Pink colouration around the A few blue and pink spots
colourations around the iron nail around the iron nail
nail

a) What is the function of


i) Potassium hexacyanoferrate (III) solution?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

ii) Phenolphthalein
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

b) Which iron nail does not rust? Give reasons for your answer.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

c) i) Name the ion that causes the blue colouration in petri dishes A and C.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

ii) Write the half-equation to represent the formation of the ion mentioned in I (i).
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

d) Arrange metals P, Q, R and iron in an ascending order of electropositivity.


______________________________________________________________________________

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

3.3 THE REACTIVITY SERIES OF METALS AND ITS APPLICATIONS


1. The reactivity of metals differs from one metal to another. In fact, the form in which a metal
occurs in nature depends on its reactivity.
2. Gold has very low reactivity and therefore can be found in its metallic state in nature. Aluminium,
potassium and sodium have very high reactivity, and therefore exist as compounds in nature.
3. One of the common compounds formed by metals is metal oxide. The formation of metal oxide
is a redox reaction. Metal + Oxygen Metal oxide
a) Metal undergoes oxidation to form a positive ions. Its oxidation number increases from
zero to a positive value.
b) Oxygen undergoes reduction to form oxide ions. Its oxidation number decreases from 0
to -2.
c) Thus, metal acts as the reducing agent while oxygen acts as the oxidising agent in the
formation of metal oxide.
4. The more reactive a metal is towards oxygen, the more vigorously is burns in oxygen. Hence,
by observing how vigorously the metals react with oxygen, we can arrange the metals
according to their reactivity towards the oxygen.
Laboratory work 3.6: Page (85-86)
Aim To investigate the reactivity of metals with oxygen
Materials Magnesium powder, zinc powder, iron filings, lead powder, copper powder, solid potassium
manganate (VII), asbestos paper, glass wool
Apparatus Boiling tube, retort stand and clamp, Bunsen burner, spatula, forceps
Procedure Safety measures:
Asbestos paper and glass wool are hazardous and should be handled with care.
1. One spatulaful of solid potassium manganate (VII) is put into a boiling tube.
2. Some glass wool is pushed into the tube. The tube is
clamped horizontally as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Investigating the reactivity of metals with


oxygen
3. One spatulaful of magnesium powder is placed on a piece of asbestos paper and is put into the
tube.
4. The magnesium powder is heated strongly. Then, the solid potassium manganate (VII) is heated.
How vigorously magnesium reacts with oxygen and the colour of the residue when it is hot and
when it is cold are observed.
5. Steps 1 to 4 are repeated using zinc powder, iron fillings, lead powder and copper powder, one at
a time, in place of magnesium powder.
Results Metal Observation Inference
Magnesium Magnesium burns brightly with a very Magnesium has a very high reactivity
brilliant flame. The residue is white with oxygen. Magnesium oxide is
when hot and cold. formed.
Zinc Zinc burns fairly bright. The residue is Zinc has a high reactivity with oxygen.
yellow when hot and white when cold. Zinc oxide is formed.
Iron Iron glows very brightly. The residue is Iron has a medium reactivity with
reddish-brown when hot and cold. oxygen. Iron (III) oxide is formed.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Lead Lead glows brightly. The residue is Lead has a low reactivity with oxygen.
brown when hot and yellow when cold. Lead (II) oxide is formed.
Copper Copper glows faintly. The residue is Copper has a lower reactivity with
black when hot and cold. oxygen than lead. Copper (II) oxide is
formed.
Discussion 1. When solid potassium manganate (VII) is heated, it decomposes to give out oxygen gas.
2 KmnO4 (s) K2MnO4 (s) + MnO2 (s) + O2 (g)
2. Other than solid potassium manganate (VII), oxygen gas can also be provided by:
a) Heating a mixture of potassium chlorate (V) with manganese (IV) oxide as a catalyst
2 KclO3 (s) 2 KCl (s) + 3 O2 (g)
b) Heating potassium nitrate 2 KNO3 (s) 2 KNO2 (s) + O2 (g)
3. The glass wool separates the metal powder from the solid potassium manganate (VII). If the
substances are mixed, they will explode when heated.
4. Based on the reactions, the metals can be arranged according to their reactivity with oxygen.
Mg, Zn, Fe, Pb, Cu
Decrease in reactivity with oxygen
5. The following equations represent the reactions between the metals and oxygen.
Magnesium: 2 Mg(s) + O2 (g) 2 MgO(s)
Zinc : 2 Zn(s) + O2 (g) 2 ZnO(s)
Iron : 4 Fe(s) + 3 O2 (g) 2 Fe2O3 (s)
Lead: 2 Pb(s) + O2 (g) 2 PbO(s)
Copper : 2 Cu(s) + O2 (g) 2 CuO(s)
Conclusion The descending order of reactivity of metals with oxygen is Mg, Zn, Fe, Pb, Cu.
5. The reactivity series of metals is a list of metals according to their reactivity with oxygen. This
series is quite similar to the electrochemical series as the reactivity of a metal with oxygen is
closely linked to its ability to lose electrons.

Figure 9: The reactivity series of metals


Position of carbon in the reactivity series of metals
1. The position of carbon in the reactivity series of metals can be determined based on:
a) The ability of carbon to remove oxygen from metal oxide
b) The ability of metals to remove oxygen from carbon dioxide.
2. Ability of carbon to remove oxygen from metal oxides
a) Carbon is strongly heated with a metal oxide (refer to Figure 10).
b) If carbon is more reactive than the metal, it can remove oxygen from the metal oxide. In
other words, carbon can reduce the metal oxide to metal.
Carbon + metal oxide carbon dioxide + metal
c) Conversely, if carbon is less reactive than metal, it cannot remove oxygen from metal
oxide.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Laboratory work 3.7: Page (87-89)


Aim To determine the position of carbon in the reactivity series of metals.
Materials Carbon powder, solid copper (II) oxide, solid magnesium oxide, solid aluminium oxide, solid zinc
oxide.
Apparatus Crucible, spatula, Bunsen burner, pipe-clay triangle, tripod stand.
Procedure 1. A spatulaful of carbon powder and a spatulaful of solid copper (II) oxide are mixed thoroughly
in a crucible.
2. The apparatus is set up as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Heating a mixture of carbon and metal oxide.


3. The mixture is heated strongly. Any changes that occur are observed.
4. Steps 1 to 3 are repeated using solid zinc oxide, solid aluminium oxide and solid magnesium
oxide, one at a time, in place of solid copper (II) oxide.
Results Mixture Observation Inference
Carbon + A flame spreads to the Metallic copper is formed. Carbon has reduced
copper (II) oxide whole mixture. A brown copper (II) oxide to copper. Thus, carbon is
residue is formed. more reactive than copper.
Carbon + A glow spreads to the Metallic zinc is formed. Carbon has reduced
zinc oxide whole mixture. A grey zinc oxide to zinc. Thus, carbon is more
residue is formed. reactive than zinc.
Carbon + No change. Carbon is unable to reduce aluminium oxide.
aluminium oxide Thus, carbon is less reactive than aluminium.
Carbon + No change. Carbon is unable to reduce magnesium oxide.
magnesium oxide Thus, carbon is less reactive than magnesium.
Discussion 1. Carbon is more reactive than copper and zinc. Therefore, carbon can reduce copper (II) oxide
and zinc oxide to their respective metals.
C(s) + 2 CuO(s) 2 Cu(s) + CO2 (g)
(black) (brown)
C(s) + 2 ZnO(s) 2 Zn (s) + CO2 (g)
(white) (grey)
2. Carbon is less reactive than aluminium and magnesium. Thus, carbon is unable to reduce
aluminium oxide and magnesium oxide.
Conclusion Carbon is positioned between aluminium and zinc in the reactivity series of metals.
K, Na, Ca, Mg, Al, C, Zn, Fe, Sn, Pb, Cu, Hg, Ag, Au
3. Ability of metals to remove oxygen from carbon dioxide
a) A heated metal is placed in carbon dioxide.
b) If the metal is more reactive than carbon, the metal can remove
oxygen from carbon dioxide. In other words, the metal can
reduce carbon dioxide to carbon.
Metal + carbon dioxide Metal oxide + carbon
c) On the other hand, if the metal is less reactive than carbon, it is
unable to remove oxygen from carbon dioxide.
Figure 11: Heating a metal in carbon dioxide gas

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

d) Example:
When a piece of magnesium ribbon is heated and placed in a gas jar filled with carbon dioxide,
the magnesium ribbon burns brightly, producing a white residue of magnesium oxide. A lot of
black powder of carbon is also formed on the wall of the gas jar. The redox reaction can be
represented as follows. 2 Mg(s) + CO2 (g) 2 MgO(s) + C(s)
A magnesium is more reactive than carbon, it is able to remove oxygen from carbon dioxide.
Magnesium reduces carbon dioxide. To carbon while it itself is oxidised to magnesium oxide.

Position of hydrogen in the reactivity series of metals


1. We can determine the position of hydrogen in the reactivity series of metals based on the ability
of hydrogen to remove oxygen from metal oxides.
2. To do this, a metal oxide is heated in the presence of hydrogen. (Refer to Figure 12)
a) If hydrogen is more reactive than the metal, hydrogen is able to remove the oxygen from
the metal oxide. In other words, hydrogen is able to reduce the metal oxide to its metal
while hydrogen itself is oxidised to water.
Hydrogen + metal oxide metal + water
b) On the other hand, if hydrogen is less reactive than the metal, hydrogen is unable to
remove the oxygen from the metal oxide. Thus, no reaction will take place.
Laboratory work 3.8: Page (89-91)
Aim To determine the position of hydrogen in the reactivity series of metals
Materials 2 mol dm-3 sulphuric acid, 1 mol dm-3 copper (II) sulphate solution, zinc granules, solid copper (II)
oxide, solid zinc oxide, solid lead (II) oxide, solid iron (III) oxide, anhydrous calcium chloride
Apparatus Combustion tube, porcelain dish, flat-bottomed flask, U-tube, thistle funnel, delivery tubes,
Bunsen burner, retort stand and clamps, stoppers with one hole, stopper with two holes.
Procedure Safety measures:
- A mixture if hydrogen and air will explode when lighted.
- Ensure that the flow of hydrogen is continuous throughout the activity.
1. A spatulaful of solid copper (II) oxide is placed in a porcelain dish.
2. The porcelain dish is placed in a combustion tube and the tube is clamped horizontally.
3. The apparatus is set up as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12: Heating metal oxide in hydrogen gas


4. Dry hydrogen gas is passed through the combustion tube for 5 to 10 minutes to remove all
the air in the tube.
5. A sample of gas is collected from the small hole at the end of the combustion tube.
6. The gas is tested with a burning wooden splinter.
7. If the gas burns quietly without a squeaky pop, all the air in the test tube has been
removed. Otherwise, steps 5 and 6 are repeated until all the air in the tube has been removed.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

8. The excess hydrogen gas that comes out of the end of the combustion tube is lighted.
9. Solid copper (II) oxide is strongly heated. Any change is observed. The flow of hydrogen gas
should be continuous throughout this activity.
10. Steps 1 to 9 are repeated using solid zinc oxide, solid lead (II) oxide and solid iron (III)
oxide, one at the time, in placed of solid copper (II) oxide.
Results Mixture Observation Inference
Hydrogen + Copper (II) oxide burns Metallic copper is formed. Hydrogen has
copper (II) oxide brightly. The black powder reduced copper (II) oxide to copper. Thus,
turns brown. hydrogen is more reactive than copper.
Hydrogen + zinc Zinc oxide does not glow at Carbon is unable to reduce zinc oxide.
oxide all. It turns yellow when hot Thus, hydrogen is less reactive than zinc.
and white when cold.
Hydrogen + lead Lead (II) oxide burns brightly. Metallic lead is formed. Hydrogen has
(II) oxide The yellow powder turns reduced lead (II) oxide to lead. Thus,
shiny grey. hydrogen is more reactive than lead.
Hydrogen + iron Iron (III) oxide burns brightly. Metallic iron is formed. Hydrogen has
(III) oxide The reddish-brown powder reduced iron (II) oxide to iron. Thus,
turns shiny grey. hydrogen is more reactive than iron
Discussion 1. Hydrogen gas is produced when zinc granules react with sulphuric acid with the presence of
copper (II) sulphate solution as a catalyst.
Zn(s) + H2SO4 (aq) ZnSO4 (aq) + H2 (g)
The hydrogen gas produced is dried by passing it through anhydrous calcium chloride.
Another drying agent that can be used is concentrated sulphuric acid.
2. The following precautions must be taken to prevent any explosion from happening.
a) All connections to delivery tubes and stoppers should be tight.
b) All the air in the combustion tube must be removed before lighting up the hydrogen gas that
comes out of the end of the combustion tube. Otherwise, a mixture of hydrogen gas and air
will explode when lighted.
c) The flow of hydrogen gas should be continuous throughout the activity.
3. Hydrogen is more reactive than copper, lead and iron. Therefore, hydrogen can reduce copper
(II) oxide, lead (II) oxide and iron (III) oxide to their respective metals.
H2 (g) + CuO(s) H2O (l) + Cu (s)
(black) (brown)
H2 (g) + PbO H2O (l) + Pb (s)
(yellow) (grey)
3 H2 (g) + Fe2O3 (s) 3 H2O (l) + 2 Fe (s)
(reddish-brown) (grey)
4. Hydrogen is less reactive than zinc. Therefore, hydrogen is unable to reduce zinc oxide.
Conclusion Hydrogen is positioned between zinc and iron in the reactivity series of metals.
K, Na, Ca, Mg, Al, C, Zn, H, Fe, Sn, Pb, Cu, Hg, Ag, Au
3. Using the same way, we can predict the position of other metals in the reactivity series.
Example:
Manganese can reduce zinc oxide to zinc but is unable to reduce aluminium oxide. What is the position of
manganese relative to aluminium and zinc in the reactivity series of metals?
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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

4. The reactivity series of metals can assist us in predicting reactions involving metals.
a) Reaction of metal oxides with carbon or hydrogen.
Carbon + metal oxide metal + carbon dioxide
Hydrogen + metal oxide metal + water
A reaction will take place if carbon or hydrogen is more reactive than the metal. The
carbon or hydrogen will remove the oxygen from the metal oxide.
b) Reaction of metal oxides with other metals
Metal X + oxide of metal Y oxide of metal X + Metal Y
This reaction occurs if metal X is more reactive than metal Y.
c) Reaction of metals with water or steam.
Metal + Water/Steam metal oxide + hydrogen
This reaction occurs if the metal is more reactive than hydrogen.
d) Reaction of metals with carbon dioxide
Metal + carbon dioxide metal oxide + carbon
This reaction occurs if the metal is more reactive than carbon.
Example:
Predict the observations obtained when zinc powder is heated in the presence of steam.
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_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Application of the reactivity series in the extraction of metals


1. Only a few metals such as platinum, gold and silver are found free in nature. Other metals have to
be extracted from their ores.
2. Ores are naturally occurring rocks that contain high concentration of one or more mineral of
metals. The common minerals found in ores are oxides, sulphides and carbonates of metals.
3. The following table shows the main contents of some common ores and the metals extracted from
them.
Ore Main mineral in ore Metal extracted from ore
Carnallite Hydrated potassium magnesium chloride, Potassium or magnesium
KClMgCl26H2O
Halite (rock salt) Sodium chloride, NaCl Sodium
Bauxite Aluminium oxide, Al2O3 Aluminium
Zinc blende (sphalerite) Zinc sulphide, ZnS Zinc
Smithsonite Zinc carbonate, ZnCO3 Zinc
Hematite Iron (III) oxide, Fe2O3 Iron
Magnetite Triiron tetroxide, Fe3O4 Iron
Cassiterite Tin (IV) oxide, SnO2 Tin
Galena Lead (II) sulphide, PbS Lead
Malachite Copper (II) carbonate hydroxide, CuCO3Cu(OH)2 Copper
Chalcopyrite Copper iron sulphide, CuFeS2 Copper
Cinnabar Mercury (II) sulphide, HgS Mercury

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

4. When a metal is extracted from its ore, it involves reduction.


A metal has a positive oxidation number in its ore. Hence, when it is extracted from its ore, its
oxidation number decreases to zero.
Mn+ in its ore M in its metal
Oxidation number: +n 0
5. This method of reduction depends on the reactivity of the metals. More often than not, the cost is
also taken into consideration. For instance, a metal can be extracted from its ore using more
reactive metals as the reducing agent. However, this is usually not done on a large scale as it is
expensive. Figure 13 summarises the methods of extracting metals from their ores.

Figure 13: Methods of extracting metals from their ores


6. In extracting metals, carbon in the form of coke is used. Carbon is widely used in the extraction
of zinc, iron, tin and lead for a number of reasons:
a) Carbon is more reactive than zinc, iron, tin and lead. (Carbon can easily reduce the oxide
of these metals)
b) Carbon is cheap and easily available.
c) Carbon dioxide gas produced is not poisonous. Hence, it can be released directly into air.
Question:
Why is hydrogen gas usually not used in extracting metals from their ores?
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7. Two main process in the extraction of metals:


a) Concentrating the ores (this is done by removing the impurities in the ores)
b) Reducing the ores into metals
Extraction of iron
1. There are a number of iron ores. However, it is uneconomical to extract iron from most of the
ores. Two important ores used in extracting iron are hematite, Fe2O3 and magnetite, Fe3O4.
2. These ores undergo several processes to remove the impurities.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

3. The concentrated ores are reduced by carbon in the form of


coke in a very large and hot furnace called blast furnace. Its
temperature can reach up to 2000C.
4. A small charge is introduced from the top of the blast furnace at
intervals of 10 to 15 minutes. The charge consists of
concentrated iron ores, coke and limestone.
5. The following flow chart outlines the reduction of the iron ores
in the blast furnace.

Blasts of extremely hot air are pumped through the furnace


via the bottom. The oxygen in the hot air reacts with coke
to form carbon dioxide.
C(s) + O2 (g) CO2 (g)

Excess carbon reacts with carbon dioxide, producing carbon


Figure 14: Extraction of iron in a blast monoxide (the main reducing agent) in the furnace.
furnace C(s) + CO2 (g) 2 CO (g)

Carbon monoxide and carbon reduce the iron oxides to iron.


Fe2O3 (s) + 3 CO (g) 2 Fe(s) + 3 CO2 (g)
2 Fe2O3 (s) + 3 C (s) 4 Fe(s) + 3 CO2 (g)
Fe3O4 (s) + 4 CO (g) 3 Fe(s) + 4 CO2 (g)
Fe3O4 (s) + 2 C (s) 3 Fe(s) + 2 CO2 (g)

6. The molten iron is collected at the bottom of the furnace. It is drained off periodically into
moulds and is allowed to cool. The product is called pig iron or cast iron.
7. At the same time, the intense heat in the blast furnace causes the limestone to decompose.
CaCO3 (s) CaO (s) + CO2 (g)
a) The calcium oxide then reacts with the impurities in the ores, which consist mostly of
sand, SiO2, to form calcium silicate, CaSiO3 or slag.
CaO (s) + SiO2 (s) CaSiO3 (l)
b) As the molten slag is less dense than molten iron, it floats on the molten iron, protecting
the molten iron from oxidation by the hot air.
c) Like the molten iron, the slag is also drained off periodically. The slag can be used as a
building material and for the manufacture of cement.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Extraction of tin
1. The main ore of the tin is cassiterite which
contains tin (IV) oxide, SnO2. The following
summarises the steps in the extraction of tin.
2. The ore is first crushed, grounded and washed.
3. The ore is concentrated by mixing it with oil
and water. In this flotation method, the tin
minerals, which are less dense, are trapped in
the floating foam. The impurities such as soil and sand, which are denser, sink to the bottom.
4. The concentrated ore is then roasted in the air. This converts the sulphide of tin to oxide. At the
same time, impurities such as sulphur and oil are burnt off.
5. Similar to iron, the reduction of tin (IV) oxide takes place in the blast furnace by carbon
monoxide and coke. SnO2 (s) + 2 CO (g) Sn(s) + 2 CO2 (g)
SnO2 (s) + 2 C (s) Sn(s) + 2 CO (g)
SnO2 (s) + C (g) Sn(s) + CO2 (g)
6. Calcium oxide from the limestone eliminates the remaining impurities to slag. The molten tin is
drained off into moulds to become tin blocks.
Contributions of the metal extraction industry
Malaysia has one of the largest reserves of tin ore in the world and was once the worlds largest producer
of tin. Tin played a predominant role in Malaysian economy in the 19th and 20th centuries until the
collapse of the tin market in the early 1980s.
1. Other than tin ore, significant amount of iron ore, copper ore, bauxites and gold are also mined in
our country.
2. Besides providing jobs to our people, the local metal extraction industry has contributed greatly
to our economy and has supported many local metal-related industries such as the food canning
industry, alloy manufacturing and the jewellery industry.
Conserving metals
1. Metals are non-renewable and the worlds reserves of metals are depleting. Thus, we need to
conserve metals. This can be done through the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).
2. We should reduce the use of metals in whatever way we can. For example, we can use pencil
cases made of cloth instead of metal.
3. Tin and aluminium cans can be reused as pencil holders. Broken metal furniture can be welded,
painted and reused again.
4. Two most common recycled metals are aluminium and iron.
5. Recycling of metals not only conserves metals, but it also conserves energy and the environment.
For example, recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the energy required to produce aluminium
from its ore and reduces air pollution by 95%.

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

Exercise:
1. Figure 15shows a set-up of the apparatus used to
investigate the reactivity of iron, copper and metal P
with oxygen. The following table shows the results
obtained.
Metal Observation
Iron Iron grows brightly, producing a reddish-brown residue. Figure 15:
Copper Copper glows faintly, producing a black residue.
Metal P Metal P burns brightly, producing a white residue.
a) What is the function of substance A?
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

b) Suggest one substance that can be used as substance A. _________________________________


c) Which metal is most reactive with oxygen iron, copper or metal P? Give your reasons.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

d) Predict whether iron can displace metal P from its oxide. Give reasons to your prediction.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

e) Predict what happens if metal P is heated with copper (II) oxide. Why?
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2. The following are observations made regarding element Q.


i. When element Q is heated with lead (II) oxide, lead and water are produced.
ii. No reaction occurs when the magnesium oxide is heated with element Q.
a) Compare the position of element Q, lead and magnesium in the reactivity series of metals.

b) Identify element Q. ____________________________________________________


c) i) Write an equation to represent the reaction that occurs in I.
______________________________________________________________________________
ii) Give the change in oxidation number of lead in the reaction.
______________________________________________________________________________
iii) Identify which substances serve as the reducing agent and the oxidising agent
respectively.
______________________________________________________________________________
3. The following shows the positions of carbon and metals X, Y and Z in the reactivity series of
metals. X, carbon, Y, Z
Increasing reactivity

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

a) Can carbon be used to extract metal X from its oxide? Give your reasons.
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_____________________________________________________________________________________

b) i) Y has an oxide with formula Y2O3. Write an equation to represent the extraction of metal
Y from its oxide by heating with carbon.
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ii) Besides carbon, which other metal can be used to extract metal Y from its oxide?
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c) Metal Z can be extracted easily from its oxide ore by direct heating. Why?
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4. Iron is extracted in a blast furnace.


a) State two iron ores used in the extraction of iron.
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_____________________________________________________________________________________

b) Besides iron ores, name two other raw materials loaded into the blast furnace.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

c) Give the function of the two raw materials mentioned in (b).


_____________________________________________________________________________________
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d) Name two other metals that are extracted in the same manner as iron.
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3.4 ELECTROLYTIC AND CHEMICAL CELLS


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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

1. Redox reaction occurs in both electrolytic and chemical cells. Both cells have been dealt with in
the chapter of electrochemistry, which chemistry related to electricity.
2. An electrolytic cell is a device that uses electricity from an external source to drive a redox
reaction.
3. A chemical cell is a device that uses redox reaction to produce electricity.
Electrolytic cell Chemical cell

It requires a source of electric current. It does not require a source of electric current.
The electrodes may be of the same or different The electrodes must be of two different materials.
materials.
The supplied electrical energy causes chemical The chemical reactions that occurs at the
reactions to occur at the electrodes. electrodes produce an electric current.
Electrical energy chemical energy Chemical energy electical energy
Electrons flow from the positive electrode to the Electrons flow from the more electropositive
negative electrode through the connecting wires. metal (negative terminal) to the less
electropositive metal (postive terminal)
4. For both electrolytic cell and chemical cell, the terms anode and cathode are assigned based
on the reaction that occurs at the electrodes.
a) Anode: Oxidation (releasing electrons)
b) Cathode: Reduction (accepting electrons)

Oxidation and reduction in electrolytic cells


1. In an electrolytic cell, an electric current is passed through an electrolyte using electrodes.
2. The electrolyte may be a molten ionic compound or an aqueous solution containing ions.
3. The electrodes are usually insert conductors such as platinum or carbon. Sometimes, active
electrodes such as copper are used.
4. During electrolysis, the electrolyte undergoes chemical changes at the electrodes. The chemical
change at each electrode is actually a half-reaction of a redox reaction.
Laboratory work 3.9: Page (95-96)
Aim To investigate the oxidation and reduction in electrolytic cells.
Materials Solid lead (II) bromide, 1 mol dm-3 potassium iodide solution, 1% starch solution, sandpaper, wooden
splinter.
Apparatus Crucible, cardboard, battery, connecting wires with crocodile clips, tripod stand, Bunsen burner, pipe-
clay triangle, electrolytic cell, carbon electrodes, switch, ammeter, small test tubes, beaker, tongs.

Procedure (A) Electrolytic cell involving molten electrolyte


1. A crucible is half-filled with solid lead (II) bromide.
PREPARED BY SHIRLEEN QUAH 38
CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

2. The apparatus is set up as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16: Electrolysis of molten lead (II) bromide


3. The solid lead (II) bromide is heated until it is completely melted.
4. The switch is turned on to allow electricity to pass through the molten lead (II) bromide for about
20 minutes. Any changes are observed.
5. After 20 minutes, the switch is turned off and both electrodes are taken out from the electrolyte.
The molten electrolyte is carefully poured into a beaker using tongs. The produce left at the
bottom of the crucible is observed.
(B) Electrolytic cell involving aqueous electrolyte
1. An electrolytic cell is half-filled with 0.5 mol dm-3 potassium iodide solution.
2. The apparatus is set up as shown in Figure 17.

Figure 17: Electrolysis of potassium iodide solution


3. The switch is turned on to allow electricity to pass through the electrolyte for 15 minutes. Any
changes at the anode and cathode are observed.
4. The product at the anode is tested with 1% starch solution while the gas collected at the cathode is
tested with lighted wooden splinter.
Results (A) Electrolytic cell involving molten electrolyte
Electrode Observation Inference
Anode A brown gas with a pungent and choking smell is released. Bromine gas is released.
Cathode A shiny grey globule is found at the bottom of crucible. Lead is produced.
(B) Electrolytic cell involving aqueous electrolyte
Electrode Observation Inference
Anode The solution in the test tube turns from colourless to brown. Iodine is produced.
It gives a dark blue colouration when tested with starch solution.
Cathode Gas bubbles are released. A colourless gas which burns with a Hydrogen gas is
pop sound is produced. released.
Discussion 1. In the electrolysis of molten lead (II) bromide:
a) Molten lead (II) bromide contains lead (II) ions, Pb2+ and bromide ions, Br-
b) Pb2+ ions move to the cathode while Br- ions move to the anode.
c) At the anode, Br ions act as the reducing agent, losing electrons to become bromine molecules.
Thus, Br- ions undergo oxidation.
Oxidation half-equations: 2 Br-(aq) Br2 (g) + 2
2+
At the cathode, Pb ions act as the oxidising agent, accepting electrons to become metallic lead.
Hence, Pb2+ ions undergo reduction.
Reduction half-equations: Pb2+(aq) + 2 Pb(s)
d) Electrons are transferred from Br- ions, the reducing agent, at the anode to Pb2+ ions, the oxidising
agent, at the cathode.
e) Overall equation: 2 Br-(aq) + Pb2+(aq) Br2 (g) + Pb(s)

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CHAPTER 3: OXIDATION AND REDUCTION

2. In the electrolysis of potassium iodide solution:


a) Potassium iodide solution contains hydrogen ions, H+, potassium ions, K+, hydroxide ions, OH- and
iodide ions, I-.
b) H+ ions and K+ ions move to the cathode while OH- ions and I- ions move to the anode.
c) At the anode, I- ions are selectively discharged because of their high concentration in the
electrolyte, I- ions act as the reducing agent, losing electrons to become iodine molecules. In other
words, I- ions undergo oxidation.
Oxidation half-equations: 2 I-(aq) I2 (aq) + 2
+
At the cathode, H ions are selectively discharged because their position in the electrochemical
series is lower than K+ ions. H+ ions act as the oxidising agent, gaining electrons to become
hydrogen molecules. In other words, H+ ions undergo reduction.
Reduction half-equations: 2 H+(aq) + 2 H2 (g)
d) Overall equation: 2 I (aq) + 2 H+(aq) I2 (aq) + H2 (g)
-

Conclusion In an electrolytic cell, oxidation occurs at the anode (positive electrode) while reduction occurs at the
cathode (negative electrode).

5. Example of oxidation and reduction in a few electrolytic cell.


Electrolytic cell Oxidation at the anode Reduction at the cathode
Electrolysis of
sulphuric acid with
carbon electrodes
Electrolysis of copper
(II) sulphate solution
with carbon electrodes
Electrolysis of copper
(II) sulphate solution
with copper electrode

6. In all electrolytic cells, electrons flow from the reducing agent at the anode to the oxidising
agent at the cathode.
7. The reducing agent loses electrons and undergoes oxidation at the anode.
8. On the other hand, the oxidising agent gains electrons and undergoes reduction at the cathode.

Oxidation and reduction in chemical cells


1. In a simple voltaic cell, two different metals are in contact with an
electrolyte. The more electropositive metal will become the negative terminal
while the less electropositive metal will become the positive terminal.
2. The chemical change that takes place at each electrode is actually a half-equation of a redox
reaction. As a result of the redox reaction, a flow of electrons or an electric current is produced.
3. The set-up of a simple voltaic cell may also include a salt
bridge or a porous pot. The salt bridge or porous pot
separates the half-equations while completing the circuit by
allowing the movement of ions to take place.

PREPARED BY SHIRLEEN QUAH 40