You are on page 1of 19

Topic2 X Metals

LEARNING OUTCOMES
Bytheendofthistopic,youshouldbeableto:
1. Describethephysicalpropertiesofmetals;
2. Differentiatethestructuresofmetalsandalloys;
3. Describethechemicalreactionsofmetals;
4. Identifytheorderofreactivityofmetals;
5. Describethemethodofextractionofironandaluminium;and
6. Discusstheusesofmetals.

X INTRODUCTION

Figure 2.1: Gold and copper coins


Source: editmentor.wordpress.com

41

TOPIC 2 METALS

Have you ever seen coins such as the ones in Figure 2.1? Gold and copper were the
first metals discovered in the earth, since 6,000BC. Gold and copper coins have been
used since ancient civilisation. Gold articles were found extensively in antiquity
mainly as jewellery such as bracelets and rings. The symbol for gold is Au from the
latin aurum meaning shining dawn. The use of copper in antiquity was of more
significance than gold as the first tools, implements and weapons were made from
copper. The symbol for copper is Cu and comes from the latin cuprum meaning from
the island of Cyprus.
Currently, there are 86 known metals. Scientists have categorised metals into three
groups alkali metals, alkali earth metals and transition elements. You can explore the
names and symbols of all known metals in the Periodic Table of the Elements.
SELF-CHECK 2.1
1.
2.
3.

2.1

Name three metals in a group of alkali metals.


Name two metals in a group of alkali earth metals.
Name two common metals in transition elements.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF METALS

Metals consist of positive ions embedded in moving clouds of electrons (Figure 2.2).
The negatively charged electrons attract all the positive metal ions and bond them
together with strong electrostatic forces of attraction as a single unit called metallic
bond.

Figure 2.2: Metals consist of positive ions surrounded by a cloud of electrons

42

TOPIC 2 METALS

2.1.1

Structures of Metals and Alloys

Pure metals have the following properties;


x They usually have high melting and boiling points. This is due to the strong
attraction between the positive metal ions and the mobile clouds of electrons.
x They conduct electricity due to the mobile electrons (electrons cloud) within
the metal structure. When a metal is connected in a circuit, the electrons move
towards the positive terminal.
x They are malleable and ductile. If a force is applied to a metal, rows of ions
can slide over one another. They reposition themselves and the strong bonds
re-form as shown in Figure 2.3.

Figure 2.3: The positions of the positive ions in a metal before and after a
force has been applied
[Source:http://www.chemis
try.org/materi_kimia/struktur_atom_dan_ikatan/jenis_struktur_atom/s
truktur_logam/]
x

They have high densities, as the atoms are arranged in order and closely
packed together as can be seen in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4: Arrangement of ions in a metal


[Source: http://martinmm.wiki.manheimcentral.org/84]

43

TOPIC 2 METALS

Different metals show different types of packing and in doing so they produce the
arrangement of atoms shown in Figure 2.5.

Figure 2.5: Relating different structures to the density of metal


[Source:
http://www.substech.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=metals_crystal_structure]
Alloys are a mixture of;
x Two or more metals (for example, brass is an alloy of zinc and copper); or
x A metal and non-metal (for example, steel is an alloy of iron and carbon).
Figure 2.6 shows the alloy structure. The blue circles represent atoms of metal A and
the white circles are atoms of metal B which is added to make the alloy. These
different atoms give the alloy different physical properties from that of the pure metal.

Atom of metal A

Atom of metal B

Figure2.6:Structureofanalloy
[Source:http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/surfaces/scc/scat6_4.htm]

44

TOPIC 2 METALS

Alloys are formed by mixing the molten substances thoroughly. But why make alloys?
The reasons why alloys are made are:
(a) To increase the strength and hardness of a pure metal. The presence of the
atoms of other elements disrupts the orderly arrangement of the pure metal.
The layers of metal atoms are prevented from sliding over one another easily.
This makes alloys stronger and harder than pure metals.
(b) To increase the resistance to corrosion of a pure metal. Alloying can prevent
metals from corrosion. This is because alloying helps to prevent the formation
of oxide layer on the surface of the metal (We will discuss the reaction of
metals in subtopic 2.2).
(c) To improve the appearance of a pure metal. Alloying helps to keep the metal
maintain the glossy nature of the surface as it prevents the formation of the
metal oxide.
Table 2.1 shows some of the more common alloys with their composition.

Table 2.1: Composition of common alloys


[Source: Ryan (2001)]
Alloy
Composition
Brass
65% copper, 35% zinc
Bronze
90% copper, 10% tin
Cupro-nickel
30% copper, 70% nickel
Duralumin
95% aluminium, 4% copper,1% magnesium, manganese and
iron
Magnalium
70% aluminium, 30% magnesium
Pewter
30% lead, 70% tin, a small amount of antimony
Solder
70% lead, 30% tin

2.2 CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF METALS


The metals in ores are chemically bonded to other elements. So how can we extract
the metals? To answer this, we must understand the Reactivity Series of metals. In
the Reactivity Series, the most reactive metals are at the top. The less reactive ones are
at the bottom. We can start putting the metals in order by looking at their actions with
heat, water and dilute hydrochloric acid.

45

TOPIC 2 METALS

2.2.1 Chemical Reaction of Metals with Heat


Conduct Experiments 2.1 and 2.2 to judge the reactivity by putting the metals into
competition with each other. In these two experiments, the metals will fight each
other to win their prize which is oxygen. The more reactive metal will win the
fight.
Experiment 2.1

1.

Mix a spatula of iron fillings and copper oxide


in a test tube. Heat the mixture strongly
x Is there a reaction? Look for a red glow
spreading through the mixture.

2.

When the tube has cooled, empty it into a dish.


x Can you see any brown copper metal left?

[Source: Ryan (2001)]

Copper starts off with the oxygen in copper oxide. However, iron is more reactive, so
it takes the oxygen away from copper. We say that iron has displaced (kicked out)
the copper.
Copper oxide + iron
CuO(s)

iron oxide +

+ Fe(s) CuO(s)

copper
Cu(s)

This is a displacement reaction. It shows us that iron is more reactive than copper.

SELF CHECK 2.2


In Experiment 2.1, what do you expect will happen if we change:
x copper oxide with iron; and
x iron with copper?
Will there be any reaction? Why?

There actually will not be a reaction between iron oxide and copper because copper is
less reactive than iron.

46

TOPIC 2 METALS

You can now try some other displacement reactions as in Experiment 2.2.
Experiment 2.2

x Try heating the mixtures of metals and oxide

shown in the table:


x Look for any signs of reaction. Tick () in the
Reaction Table if there is a reaction.

(Be careful when looking for signs of reaction.

Zinc oxide turns yellow when you heat it by

itself. It turns white again when it cools down).


Write word equations for the reactions you
have ticked)

Metal/
Metal
oxide
Zinc
Iron
Copper
Magnesium

Zinc
oxide

Iron
oxide

Copper
oxide

Reaction Table

2.2.2 Chemical Reaction of Metals with Water


You have already seen how the action of heat with metals in the displacement
reaction. Now, you can arrange the order of the reactivity of metals iron, zinc, copper
and magnesium:
i.
Magnesium
ii.
Zinc
iii.
Iron
iv.
Copper
We can also judge reactivity by observing the metals reaction with water. Let us look
at the reaction of lithium, sodium and potassium with water.
Experiment 2.3
1.
2.

3.
4.

Put water in three different glass basins.


Drop small pieces of
x Lithium in basin 1
x Sodium in basin 2
x Potassium in basin 3
Collect the gas given off as shown;
x Test the gas with a lighted splint
Test the solution formed with red litmus
paper.
x Is the solution left acidic or alkaline?
[Source: Ryan (2001)]

From Experiment 2.3, you can observe that lithium moves slowly on the surface of the
water, while sodium melts to become a small sphere, move rapidly and randomly on

47

TOPIC 2 METALS

the water surface with a hissing sound as it reacts. Potassium gets so hot that it lights
the hydrogen gas that water gives off. It burns with a lilac flame, move very rapidly
and randomly on the water surface with a hissing and popping sound. The colourless
solution formed turns red litmus paper to blue.

When red litmus paper turns to blue,


the solution formed is an alkaline!

The chemical equation for the reaction of lithium with water is as follows:
Lithium +
2Li(s)

Water

2H2O (l)

Lithium hydroxide
2LiOH (aq)

Hydrogen

H2 (g)

SELF-CHECK 2.3
Write the word and symbol equations for sodium and potassium
reacting to water.

In the case of magnesium, this metal normally reacts slowly with water. But we
can speed up the reaction by heating up the water to make steam as in Experiment
2.4.
Experiment 2.4
1.

2.

Heat the magnesium strongly.


Every now and again, switch the
flame briefly to the ceramic wool
to make a steam.
As the reaction starts, the gas
given off can be lit at the end of
the tube.
x Can you name the gas?

[Source: Ryan (2001)]

The magnesium reacts strongly with the steam. It leaves white magnesium oxide in
the test tube. Hydrogen gas is given off.

48

TOPIC 2 METALS

Magnesium +
Mg (s)

Steam

+ H2O (g)

Magnesium oxide
MgO(s)

+
+

Hydrogen
H2 (g)

The oxygen atom in H2O has swapped partner! It start off with hydrogen, but ends
up with magnesium.
Table 2.2 gives the different observations when metals react with water and steam.
Table 2.2: Reaction of metals with water and steam
T
Reaction with Water
Reaction with Steam
a Metals
Fizz, giving off hydrogen gas and Explode
b Potassium
leaving an alkaline (hydroxide)
Sodium
l
solution.
Lithium
e
Calcium
React, giving off hydrogen gas and
2 Magnesium Very slow reaction.
forming the metal oxide.
(Aluminium
is
protected
by
a
layer
Aluminium
.
of
aluminium
oxide
on
its
surface).
Zinc
2
Iron

2.2.3 Chemical Reaction of Metals with Diluted


Hydrochloric Acid
Another simple way to judge the reactivity of metals is to compare the reaction with
diluted acid. Metals will react quicker with diluted acid compared to water especially
the metals below calcium in Table 2.2.
Conduct Experiment 2.5 to compare the reactivity of metals when react with dilute
hydrochloric acid.
Experiment 2.5
1.
2.

3.

Clean the metals with sand-paper.


Set up the boiling tube as shown:
x Can you see bubbles?
(If you see no bubbles, you can warm the
tube gently in a beaker of hot water)
Record your results in a table.
(Do your results agree with the order in
Table 2.3 ?)

[Source: Ryan (2001)]

Notice that copper does not react with hydrochloric acid. However, the other metals
tested do react. For example, magnesium:

49

10 X

TOPIC 2 METALS

Magnesium

Mg (s)

Hydrochloric acid Magnesium chloride


2HCl (aq)

MgCl2 (aq)

Hydrogen

H2 (g)

Table 2.3: Reaction of metals with dilute hydrochloric acid


Metals
Reaction with Dilute Hydrochloric Acid
x
x
x
x
x

Calcium
Magnesium
Aluminium
Zinc
Iron

Fizz, giving off hydrogen gas.


(Aluminium is protected by a tough layer of oxide on
its surface)

x
x

Tin
Lead

Gives off hydrogen very slowly .


(The acid needs to be warmed up)

Copper

No reaction.

SELF CHECK 2.4


Write word equations for the reactions of calcium, aluminium, zinc,
iron, tin and lead with dilute hydrochloric acid.

ACTIVITY 2.1
Discuss why we never add potassium, sodium or lithium to acid.

2.2.1 Order of Reactivity of Metals


Now, we can form the Reactivity Series of metals according to the reactivity of metals
based on the metals reaction to heat, reaction to water and reaction to diluted
hydrochloric acid (Figure 2.7).

50

TOPIC 2 METALS

Potassium

Na

Sodium

Li

Lithium

Ca

Calcium

Mg

Magnesium

Al

Aluminium

Zn

Most reactive

Zinc

Fe

Iron

Sn

Tin

Pb

Lead

Cu

Copper

Ag

Silver

Au

Gold

Pt

Platinum

Least reactive

Figure 2.7: Reactivity series of metals

ACTIVITY 2.2
Figure shown is a message from
the Lonely Hearts section of the
Zoo of the World. Can you come
up with your own mnemonic
sentence to help you remember
the Reactivity Series?

51

11

12 X

2.3

TOPIC 2 METALS

EXTRACTION OF IRON AND ALUMINIUM

In the earlier sub-topic, we learned about the Reactivity Series. We will now look at
how to get metals from their ores. This includes iron, which is the most widely used of
all metals. Figures 2.8 and 2.9 show iron ore and the mining of iron ore.

2.3.1

Extraction of Iron

Figure 2.8: Iron ore, haematite


[Source: http://www.e-rocks.com/Products.aspx?action=showproduct&id=107003]

Figure 2.9: Mining of iron ore in Karnataka


[Source: http://khanija.kar.ncode.in/SitePages/EAuctionData.aspx]

52

TOPIC 2 METALS

Carbon is important in the extraction of iron. Carbon is a non-metal, but we can put it
into our Reactivity Series of metals. It is placed in between aluminium and zinc. This
means that carbon can displace any metal below aluminium in the Reactivity Series
(Figure 2.10).

Potassium

Na

Sodium

Li

Lithium

Ca

Calcium

Mg

Magnesium

Al

Aluminium

Carbon cannot be used to


extract the more reactive
metals

CARBON
Zn
Fe

Zinc
Iron

Sn Tin

These metals can be

Pb Lead
extracted using carbon

Cu Copper

Ag Silver

Au Gold

Pt Platinum

Figure2.10:ThepositionofcarbonintheReactivitySeries

We get carbon from coal. Coal is cheap and there is plenty of it at present. We use
coke (a cheap form of carbon which is made from coal) as one of the raw materials
besides iron ore (mainly haematite- iron(III) oxide) and limestone (to get rid of sandy
waste) in the process of extracting iron. We use blast furnace to get the iron from its
ore. Figure 2.11 shows the diagram of blast furnace used to extract iron.

Reactions in the blast furnace


x The coke (carbon) reacts with oxygen in the hot air to make carbon oxide.
C(s) + O2(g) CO2 (g)

x This carbon dioxide reacts with more hot coke to produce carbon monoxide
gas.
CO2 (g) + C(s) 2CO(g)

53

13

14 X

TOPIC 2 METALS

x The carbon monoxide then reacts with iron oxide to get iron.
Fe2O3(s) + 3CO(g) 2 Fe(l) (s) + 3CO2 (g)
At the high temperature (up to 1900C) in the furnace, the iron is in molten form
(liquid). So, it sinks to the bottom of the furnace. The iron then will run off into
mould. The molten slag floats to the top of the iron. The slag is tapped off, cooled and
used for making roads.

Figure 2.11: The blast furnace


[Source: http://images.yourdictionary.com/blastfurnace]

2.3.2

Extraction of Aluminium

Figure 2.12: Aluminium ore, bauxite


[Source: http://www.greener
industry.org.uk/pages/aluminium/aluminium_4PMsummary.htm]

54

TOPIC 2 METALS

As shown in the Reactivity Series (refer Figure 2.10), the position of aluminium is
before carbon. This means aluminium is more reactive than carbon, so carbon cannot
be used to extract aluminium. So, how do we extract aluminium from its ore, bauxite,
which contains aluminium oxide, Al2O3?
Reactive metals can only be extracted from
their ores by electrolysis!

2.3.3 Extraction of Aluminium Electrolysis of Aluminium


Oxide

Figure 2.13 shows the electrolytic cell used for the extraction of aluminium.

Figure 2.13: Extraction of aluminium


[Source: http://www.meritnation.com/askanswer/question/explainthe
processofextractionofaluminiun/metalsandnonmetals/2230314]
x
x
x
x
x

Aluminium oxide is mixed with cryolite, Na3AlF6, to lower the melting


pointofaluminiumoxide(2045C)toabout900C.
Blocksofcarbonactastheanodewhilethecarbonliningofthecellactsas
thecathode.
At the cathode, the aluminium ions are discharged to form aluminium
metal.
Al3+(l)+3eAl(l)
Liquid aluminium is denser than the electrolyte and will be collected at
thebottomofthecell.
Attheanode,theoxideionsaredischargedtoformoxygengas.
2O2(l)O2(g)+4e

55

15

16 X
x
x
x

TOPIC 2 METALS

Theoverallchemicalreactionis:
2Al2O3(l)4Al(l)+3O2(g)
Theoxygenliberatedattheanodewillreactwiththecarbonelectrode
toproducecarbondioxidegas.
C(s)+O2(g)CO2(g)
Consequently, the anode is corroded slowly and must be replaced
fromtimetotime.

2.4 THE USES OF METALS

Steel is used more than any other metal. It is important in the building industry. It is
used for girders and for the rods inside reinforced concrete. Steel tubes, called scaffold,
are used when buildings are made or repaired.
Steel is made mainly from iron. It has a small amount of carbon in it. The amount of
carbon affects its properties as can be seen in Table 2.4
Table 2.4: Types of Steel
Type of Steel
Mild steel

Amount of Carbon
0.2%

Hardness
Can be easily shaped

Medium steel
High-carbon
steel

0.3% to 0.6%
0.6% to 1.5 %

Hard
Very hard

Uses
Car bodies, wires,
pipe, bicycles
Girders, springs
Drills,
hammers,
other tools

Unfortunately, iron and steel rust. Is there a way to prevent this? You have learned about
alloy. How to make steel alloy?

If chromium and nickel are added to steel, you will

get stainless steel, a steel which does not rust!

However,stainlesssteelisexpensive.Ithasmainlybeenusedformakingsmall
items,suchasknivesandspoons.

ACTIVITY 2.3

Name20itemsthataremadeofstainlesssteel.

56

TOPIC 2 METALS

Another metal that has many useful properties is aluminium. It conducts heat and
electricity well. It has low density for a metal. It does not corrode.
Platinum is used in catalytic converters, fitted to car exhausts. It cuts down the
amount of pollution from cars.
A radioactive isotope of cobalt is used to treat patients with cancer.
Figure 2.14 shows some uses of common metals around the home.

Figure 2.14: Some uses of metals at home


[Source: Ryan (2001)]

ACTIVITY 2.4

Look at the compund of your school. Name the metals and


the uses of metals at your school.

57

17

18 X

TOPIC 2 METALS

x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x

Metal consists of atoms which are arranged very closely packed in an


orderlymanner.
The atoms in metal bond with strong electrostatic force called metallic
bond.
Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. They are shiny,
malleable(canbehammeredintoshapes)andductile(canbedrawnout
intowires).Mostmetalsarehard,denseandhavehighmeltingpoints.
Thepropertiesofmetalscanbeimprovedwithalloying.
Alloyisamixtureoftwoormoremetalsorametalandanonmetal.
Generally,alloyingproducesametallicsubstancewhichhasmoreuseful
propertiesthantheoriginalpuremetalitwasmadefrom.
TheReactivitySerieslistsmetalsinorderofreactivity.
WecanusetheReactivitySeriestomakepredictionsaboutreactions.
A more reactive metal can displace a less reactive metal from its
compound.
CarbonisplacedbetweenaluminiumandzincintheReactivitySeries.
Extraction of metal from its ore depends on its place in the Reactivity
Series.Themorereactiveametal,theharderitistoextract.
ThemetalsplacedabovecarbonintheReactivitySeriescanbeextracted
by electrolysis (potassium, sodium, lithium, calcium, magnesium and
aluminium).
ThemetalsplacedbelowcarbonintheReactivitySeriescanbeextracted
byusingcarbonasanoxidisingagent(zinc,iron,tinandlead).
Metalshaveawiderangeofuses.Metalsareusedinbuildingindustries,
householdproducts,medicine,agriculture,etc.

Blastfurnace
Carbon
Dilutedhydrochloricacid
Displacementreaction
Electrolysis
Heat

Metal
Metallicbond
Reactivityseries
Stainlesssteel
Steel
Water

58

TOPIC 2 METALS

Earl, B., & Wilford, D. (2009). IGCSE chemistry. United Kingdom: Hodder
Education.

Eng, N. H., & Lim, Y. C. (2007). Focus Super Chemistry. Bangi: Penerbitan
Pelangi.

Farndon,J.(2003).Theelements:Aluminium.Malaysia:FederalPublications.

Ryan,L.(2001).Chemistryforyou.UnitedKingdom:StanleyThornes.

Sparrow,G.(2003).Theelements:Iron.Malaysia:FederalPublications.

59

19