Position of Hydrogen in The Reactivity Series of Metals

  1. The position of hydrogen in the reactivity series of metal can also be determined based on its ability to displace oxygen from metal oxides.
  2. If hydrogen is more reactive than a metal, it can displace oxygen from metal oxide, and reduces the metal oxide to its metal.
  3. Hydrogen + metal oxide → metal + water
  4. Conversely, if hydrogen cannot remove oxygen from metal oxide, hydrogen is less reactive than the metal in the reactivity series of metal.
  5. Hydrogen can reduce iron (II) oxide, Fe2O3 to form iron, Fe and water.
    Fe2O3 + 3H2 → 2Fe + 3H2O
  6. However, hydrogen cannot reduce zinc oxide, ZnO.
  7. Therefore hydrogen is below zinc but above iron in the reactivity series of metals.
  8. The diagram below shows the set-up of apparatus used to determine the position of hydrogen in the reactivity series of metal.

  1. The chart below shows the position of carbon and hydrogen in the reactivity series of metal base on their ability to attract oxygen to form oxide.


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