Displacement and Reactivity

Identify the relationship between displacement of metal ions in solution by other metals to the relative activity of metals



  • In a displacement reaction, the metal that displaces the ions of the other metal is the most reactive.
  • Displacement reactions can therefore allow the placement of metals in a series in order of reactivity.
  • Activity Series: A series of metals arranged from the most reactive (the most easily oxidised) to the least reactive (the least easily oxidised).
  • The following is a reactivity series of some of the most common metals:

  • A reactivity series can be used to determine whether a metal will displace the ions of another metal from a solution.
  • A metal will displace the ions of any metal to its right in the series.
  • Metal reactions are related to the activity series. For example:
    • The metals from potassium to lead react with dilute acids, releasing hydrogen gas.
    • The metals from potassium to magnesium react with liquid water.

Easychem - Displacement and Reactivity



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