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Chemical Properties of Metals: When Metals React with Water

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Metal react with water and produce a metal oxide and hydrogen gas. But all the metals do not react with water.

Metal + Water Metal oxide + Hydrogen

Metal Oxide + Water Metal hydroxide

Metals like potassium and sodium react violently with cold water. In case of sodium and potassium, the reaction is so violent and exothermic that the evolved hydrogen immediately catches fire.

2K(s) + 2H2O(l) 2KOH(aq) + H2(g) + heat energy

2Na(s) + 2H2O(l) 2NaOH(aq) + H2(g) + heat energy

The reaction of calcium with water is less violent. The heat evolved is not sufficient for the hydrogen to catch fire.

Ca(s) + 2H2O(l) → Ca(OH)2(aq) + H2(g)

Calcium starts floating because the bubbles of hydrogen gas formed stick to the surface of the metal.

Magnesium does not react with cold water. It reacts with hot water to form magnesium hydroxide and hydrogen. It also starts floating due to the bubbles of hydrogen gas sticking to its surface.

Metals like aluminium, iron and zinc react with steam to form the metal oxide and hydrogen

2Al(s) + 3H2O(g) → Al2O3(s) + 3H2(g)

3Fe(s) + 4H2O(g) → Fe3O4(s) + 4H2(g)

Metals such as lead, copper, silver and gold do not react with water at all.

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Video Tutorials

We have provided more than 1 series of video tutorials for some topics to help you get a better understanding of the topic.

Series 1

Series 2 | Metal and Non Metals part 6 (Anodising)

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Metal and Non Metals part 6 (Anodising) [00:05:20]
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