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Learning Zone - The Chemical Reactivity Series

Back to Reactivity page Zinc, Zn back to reactivity page

Reaction with water

Zinc virtually has no reaction with cold water.

Zinc reacts with steam to give zinc oxide and hydrogen gas. The reaction occurs in a similar way as magnesium does, but less vigorous.

zinc + steam > zinc oxide + hydrogen
Zn(s) + H2O(g) > ZnO(s) + H2(g)

Reaction with oxygen

Strong heating is required to make zinc powder burn in oxygen. Much heat is given out during the reaction and a white powder is formed, which is yellow when hot and white when cold.

zinc + oxygen > zinc oxide
2Zn(s) + O2(g) > 2ZnO(s)

Reaction with dilute acids

Zinc reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid to give zinc chloride and hydrogen gas.

zinc + hydrochloric acid > zinc chloride + hydrogen
Zn(s) + 2HCl(aq) > ZnCl2(aq) + H2(g)

Zinc reacts with dilute sulphuric acid to give zinc sulphate and hydrogen gas.

zinc + sulphuric acid > zinc sulphate + hydrogen
Zn(s) + H2SO4 (aq) > ZnSO4(aq) + H2(g)

Zinc reacts with dilute nitric acid to give zinc nitrate and hydrogen gas.

Zinc + nitric acid > Zinc nitrate + hydrogen
Zn(s) + 2HNO3(aq) > Zn(NO3)2(aq) + H2(g)

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