Chemistry

Please explain the acitivty series of metals. How can i determine if one element displaces another?

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  1. I'll try this again. Do you have the activity series tool with you? If not, google an image of it.

    Generally, the metal with the most activity is lithium and the metal with least activity is gold.

    In a displacement reaction one atom takes the place of another atom in a compound. Typically, metals replace metals and non-metals replace non-metals.

    In general: AB + C --> CB + A

    Due to differences in reactivity, some metals will cause displacement, others will not.

    For example,
    CuCl2 + Al --> Cu + AlCl3

    A reaction will take place because Aluminum has a higher reactivity than Copper, and thus is higher than Copper on the Activity Series.

    LiF + Ag --> no reaction.
    Silver is lower than Lithium on the Activity Series.

    You have to consider the free metal - which is not involved in a bond (Ag and Al) and the metal involved in the bond (Li and Cu), respectively. If the free metal is higher on the activity series than the metal in a bond, only then will a displacement occur.

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  2. If you don't have an activity series chart in your text or in your notes, you can go to google, type in activity series, and pick and choose from the several that will be shown. I would give you the link BUT I can't post links right now.

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