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Table of Contents Potassium
Sodium
Calcium
Magnesium
Aluminium
Carbon
Zinc
Iron
Lead
Copper
Mercury




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Learning Zone - The Chemical Reactivity Series

Back to Reactivity page Extraction of metals Back to reactivity page

Most metals are found to combine with other elements as compounds. These compounds where metals are extracted in the mining industry are called ores. Ores are usually oxides, carbonates or sulphides of the metal, mixed with sandy impurities.

Some metals can be extracted from their ores by displacement reactions.

For example, iron can be extracted from its ore, haematite, (iron (III) oxide) by heating with carbon at high temperatures. An industrial scale of extraction of iron is done in a giant blast furnace.

iron ore iron ingot

The following displacement reaction occurs:

Iron (III) oxide + carbon > iron + carbon dioxide
2Fe2O3(s) + 3C(s) > 4Fe(s) + 3CO2(g)


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