Reactivity series for common metals experiment Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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Category: Chemistry

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To see if a common metal is reactive or strong enough to replace/push out/displace another common metal from its liquid compound.


My prediction will be: the most reactive metal shown by the reactivity series will show if the metal can displace or not the metal in the compound. For example my hypothesis in a reaction of Mg and Pb is that; Mg being a more reactive metal in the reactivity series will displace Pb, a least reactive metal in the series.


1. A chart with spaces big enough to proceed with the reaction. With the names of each different metals. For obvious reasons put an x from the top left corner to the inferior left corner.

2. A glass bigger than the chart for the paper for protection of it.

3. Each solid metal and metal compound for the reaction: Solid Metals: Magnesium (4), Copper(4), Iron(4), Zinc(4), Lead(4). Liquid Metal Compounds: Copper Sulphate, Iron Chloride, Magnesium Sulphate, Zinc Nitrate, Lead Nitrate.

4. A teat pipette.

5. Another table, but smaller, to record data.


1. Get all required elements you are going to need, this elements are listed above.

2. Put the glass on top of the table of reactions.

3. Clean all metals, until they are shiny and clean.

4. Place 4 times the same metal on its corresponding column and different square; for all the metals(5).

5. Add carefully with the teat pipette one or two drops of the metal compound indicated directly onto the solid metal.

6. Observe for changes, take into account that if the texture or color are altered, it means that there has been displacement, reaction.

7. Write your observations.

8. Results should be written in a neat table, as tick if there was reaction, X if there was none and ? If not sure.

9. Analyze and conclude from your data.

Data Analysis

From the table above, we can conclude that the most reactive metal is Magnesium (Mg), since it reacts with all the metal compounds except itself (Magnesium Sulphate). Then will come Zinc (Zn) , reacting with 2 Metal Compounds. Iron(Fe) will be less reactive than Zn and reacting with only 1 Metal Compound. Finally the least reactive Solid Metal will be Copper and Lead, reacting with none metal compounds.


1. Write down the order of reactivity you found:

Based on the graphic above; the reactivity order i found:

3. Suggest why some squares were marked with an X on the grid.

The diagonal squares in the grid from top left hand corner to lower right hand corner were marked with an X because it is pretty obvious that a metal can not displace the same metal on the compound; because it has the same reactivity and atoms on the last shell in the atom. So for example, Copper will not displace Copper on the compound: Copper Sulphate.

4. Referring to your text book. Is there any metal that does not seem to be behaving as its position says it should? Can you find any reasons for this?

Well referring to the reaction series there are some metals i found which do not fit in the reaction series, this are Copper and Lead; well copper and lead should not be tied, the reactivity series show that Lead is more reactive than copper, and by this it should be first in the reactivity order.

i think there are 2 possible ways to explain why this happens:

Since the results we did were not very accurate and Lead and Copper are very close in the reactivity series, maybe we did not noticed the reaction of Lead or Copper, or maybe there wasnt in neither of them, well it is very possible that the reaction of them was not too noticeable to see the difference between them, but even though there was.

The other possible way, could be that the metals werent very clean before we tested them, and so this could have altered and prevented a reaction in Lead.


In general we did a great effort with my teammate in the lab, we applied exactly two drops of the metal compound to the metal solid, tried every metal to be clean , but unfortunately we needed machinery to polish every single metal but we did not had it, we just had to do our best at trying to polish them.

Another problem we did had, was to handle the spaces and the arrangement of the metals within their boxes in the lab; well we applied a small square to each experiment, we frequently had the metal compound spreading into other boxes, damaging the fair results of the other experiments. One solution could be to apply bigger spaces and arrange each metal at the center of its box.

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