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Activity Series of Non Metals

There are many elements which show difference in the chemical reactivity with each other. We can determine the relative reactivity with the help of activity series of elements which is also known as reactivity series. In this series, elements are arranged in increasing order of their reactivity compare to others. In other words; the reactivity decreases from top to bottom in the series.

The top most elements are more reactive while bottom elements are least reactive in nature. In a displacement reaction, more reactive element can replace the less reactive element therefore this series of element is quite helpful in the prediction of products. Elements which are placed at more distance in the series can react more vigorously compare to those elements which are placed close to each other in the activity series. We know that a metal with low electro-negativity and low ionisation potential is more reactive, hence is placed at the top of series. For example; the activity series of metal starts from alkali metals because they have least ionisation potential and most reactive compare to other metals. These metals can easily replace H from water in the form of H2 gas and act as good reducing agents.

Therefore they will be weak oxidising agents and their ions cannot reduce to metal in their aqueous solution. Similarly most reactive metals react rapidly with air to form oxides. Aluminium is exceptional case as it has a coating of Al2O3 which prevents the further oxidation. On the contrary, Fe reacts with O2 to form rust and the phenomenon is known as corrosion. The Nobel metals such as Pt, Au are placed at the bottom of the series as they are least reactive and do not corrode easily. Just like metals, non-metals can also arrange on reactivity series. Non-metals are electronegative elements which tend to accept electrons and form anions during redox reactions.  They act as strong oxidizing agents. The most reactive non-metal is placed at the top while least reactive appear on the bottom. Hence non-metals are arranged in ordered of their oxidising strength. Let’s discuss one the reactivity series of non-metals of 17th group.

The reactivity of halogens decreases from fluorine to iodine. Hence fluorine is most reactive and iodine is least reactive element. That is the reason; fluorine cannot isolate it in the laboratory very easily. In terms of oxidising power, Cl2 is the best oxidising agent, hence it can displace Br2 from solutions containing Br- ion;

Cl2 + 2Br-   Br2 + 2Cl-

Here Cl2 acts as oxidising agent and remove electrons from Br- to form Br2 which turns the solution orange or red colour. Similarly Br2 can iodine from solutions containing I- ions as given below;

Br2 + 2I-  I2 + 2Br-

The liberation of I2 can be detected with the change in colour from brown to violet colour due to I2. The addition of starch indicator to same solution turns it to blue-black solution due to the formation of starch-iodine complex. We can predict the products of the reaction of Cl2 with I- ions.

Since Cl2 can displace I0 ions from its solution which can be visualised due to change in colour. But the reverse reaction is not possible i.e. I2 cannot displace Cl- ions from its solution as I2 is a weak oxidising agent.

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Question:Which type of steel is most reactive out of steel, stainless steel and galvanized steel? Are there any differences? What other components make up steel, galvanized steel and stainless steel? (I know what they are but I can't find the actual percentiles which is what my educator wants) What applications are the various types of steel used and why isn't iron used in these instances? These are questions following a lab experiment and they are the only ones left I am having difficulty answering. All relevant answers are welcome thanks in advance.

Answers:I use steel everyday but couldn't tell you the answers to some of these questions (I'm a draughtsman, not a welder, nevermind a chemist XD)...though I can tell you that iron isn't used in places where you would use SS or galvanized carbon steel, due to the fact that Iron is probably one of the worlds most corrosive metals. It rusts up big time, SS and Gal. Steel are both non-corrosive for the most part (certain grades of SS can slightly oxidise such as 304L)...Galvanised steel is a chemical process for Carbon steel (maybe more not sure) to make it rustproof also...all I really know on your questions sorry..hope I helped, I'm no expert :)


Answers:Flourine (F)Atomic #9, is the most active non metal. I am a chem major now at a university, and I just looked it up in my chem book, if you want to know where I got it from. Hope this answered your question good enough.

Question:1. Which of the following metals reacts with aqueous MgSO4? Partial Activity Series: Mg > Zn > Pb > (H) > Ag 2. Which of the following metals reacts with aqueous CuSO4? Partial Activity Series: (H) > Cu > Ag > Hg > Au

Answers:Just use common sense. With problem 1 if MgSO4 is the most reactive metal then of course it's not going to be replaced by anything. With problem 2, the Cu can obviously only be replaced by hydrogen.

Question:how does the reactivity of alloys relate to the activity series of metals? the alloys were galvanized steel, steel, and stainless steel, and the metals used were magnesium, iron, copper, tin, and zinc.. Please help?!?! i don't get this at ALL and my chemistry teacher is of no help :( thanks SOO MUCH!! it makes much more sense :) and i know, what a fail... :P i basically have to look everything up myself for this class, because he tells us NOTHING!!

Answers:Your question relates to simple properties how does the reactivity of alloys relate to the activity series of metals? well it depends whether it is coated or mixed [alloyed] and the reactivity of the metal. This should help: Galvanised steel... coating of zinc corrodes in preference to the iron, so zinc protects it until it is corroded away Stell .. corrodes rapidly in presence of water + air to rust Stainless steel is an alloy containing nickel and chromium as well as iron and this is virtually corrosion proof. For the straight metals, have a look at the reactivity series [or electrochemical series]. This is simply and clearly shown at http://www.gcsescience.com/r1-reactivity-series-metals.htm my chemistry teacher is of no help :( SHAME he is actually being paid to help you .. that is his job!

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Chapter 8 Activity 6: Metal Activity Series :Active Chemistry Teacher Training Videos. Chapter 8: CSI Chemistry