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Learning Zone - The Chemical Reactivity Series

Reactivity Series

Quite often, two substances can react in a similar chemical reaction but the reactivity of such a reaction is depended on the type of substance involved. This is also true in the case of elemental substances. The chemical reactivity series for some common elements are shown on the right, with the most reactive elements locate on top and the reactivity behavior decreases when going down the list.

For this reason, an element that is located high in the chemical reactivity series (towards the top of the list) can react explosively with another substance, whereas, elements located further down the list may only react at a slow rate even when heated.

There are two approaches to this revision, both will point to the same web pages. The first is to go by elements, which describes the chemical behavior of each element. This is selected on the reactivity series shown on the left. The second approach is to go by reaction, which is shown below. In both cases, as the lesson progresses, look at the reactivity series chart shown on the left and compare the chemical behaviour of the elements.

(1) Reaction with water
(2) Reaction with oxygen
(3) Reaction with dilute acids
(4) Displacement reaction
(5) Extraction of metals.


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