Specification Point 2.16:
Understand how Metals can be arranged in a reactivity series based on their displacement reactions between: Metals and Metal Oxides, Metals and Aqueous Solutions of Metal Salts

Displacement Reaction

Displacement Reaction: A reaction in which a more reactive metal replaces a less reactive one

Reactivity Series:

Table Displacement Reactions, Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

Arrangement of reactivity series based on displacement reactions between Metal Oxides and Aqueous Solutions of Metal Salts

  • Reactivity of metals increases up the reactivity series
  • This means that a metal will displace another metal that is below it in the reactivity series

Reducing Metal Oxides

A Metal Oxide can be reduced by heating it with a metal (the reducing agent) that is higher in the reactivity series

Definitions:

Table Metal Oxide definitions, Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

Example: Copper (II) Oxide

  • It is possible to reduce Copper (II) Oxide by heating it with Magnesium
  • As Magnesium is above Copper in the reactivity series, Magnesium is more reactive so can displace Copper:

CuO (s)     +     Mg (s)      →     Cu (s)     +     MgO (s)

The Reducing Agent in this reaction is Magnesium

Other Common Reactions:

Displacement of Metals from their Salts

Any Metal will displace another metal that is below it in the reactivity series from a solution of one of its salts.

Example: Zinc and Copper (II) Sulfate Solution

As Zinc is above copper in the reactivity series, Zinc is more reactive so can displace copper from Copper (II) Sulfate solution:

Zn (s)     +     CuSO4 (aq)      →     ZnSO4 (aq)     +     Cu (s)

Other Common Reactions:

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Author: Jamie

Jamie got a First class degree in Chemistry from Oxford University before going on to teach chemistry full time as a professional tutor. He’s put together these handy revision notes to match the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry specification so you can learn exactly what you need to know for your exams.