AQA GCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

4.1.1 Metal Oxides

Metal Oxides

  • Metals react with oxygen in the air to produce metal oxides
  • Oxidation and reduction involve the addition or removal of oxygen from a substance and are called redox reactions
  • Oxidation is a reaction in which:
    • Oxygen is added to an element or a compound
  • Reduction is a reaction in which:
    • Oxygen is removed from an element or a compound
  • A common example is the reaction with red-brown copper metal to produce black copper oxide:

2Cu + O2  2CuO

  • In this reaction copper metal has been oxidised since oxygen has been added to it
  • Another example is the reaction of zinc oxide with carbon:

ZnO + C Zn + CO

  • In this reaction the zinc oxide has been reduced since it has lost oxygen. The carbon atom has been oxidised since it has gained oxygen

Exam Tip

REDOX are simultaneous reactions as they occur at the same time in the same reaction.

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.
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