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4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

D Electrochemical Series

 Electrochemical Series is an arrangement of elements according to their tendency to


release electrons to form a …………………………...

Electrochemical
Series
K
MORE ELECTROPOSITIVE
Na
Easier to release electrons to form a
Ca positive ion (cation)
Mg

Al

Zn

Fe

Sn

Pb

Cu

Ag

D1 Synthesising Electrochemical Series


The construction of Electrochemical Series based on ;

 I : The voltage differences of the pair of metals

Metal X Metal Y

Electrolyte

Chapter 6 39 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

Positive
Pair of metal Voltage Negative
Termina
X/Y (V) Terminal
l
Mg / Cu 2.7 Cu Mg
Zn / Cu 1.1 Cu Zn
Fe / Cu 0.8 Cu Fe
Pb / Cu 0.5 Cu Pb
Cu / Cu 0.0 - -

• The greater the voltage produced, the further is the separation of the paired metals in the
Electrochemical Series.
• Metals which have a higher tendency to ionise (higher position in the Electrochemical Series)
will be the negative terminal.
• Metals which have a lower tendency to ionise (lower position in the Electrochemical Series)
will be the positive terminal.

Mg
2.7 V
Zn
The tendency
for metals to
ionise is Fe 1.1 V

increase
0.8 V

Pb
0.5 V

Cu

Sample question :

Table below shows the voltage and positive terminal of three chemical cells.

Pair of metal Cell voltage/V Positive terminal


P and Q 2.5 P
Q and R 3.0 R
R and S 0.2 S

Which of the following is the correct arrangment of the metals in the Electrochemical Series
starting with the most electropositive metal?

A P, Q, R, S
B Q, P, R, S
C Q, R, S, P

Chapter 6 40 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

D S, R, P, Q

 II : The capability of metals to displace other metals from its salt solution.
 (Displacement reaction)

Metal P

Salt solution contains


metal Q ion, Qm+

 If reaction occurs : [ e.g : P is Mg ; Salt solution contain Cu2+ ions ]


P + Qm+ → Pn+ + Q // Mg + Cu2+ → Mg2+ + Cu
 The position of metal P is higher than metal Q in the Electrochemical Series.
 P is more electropositive than Q

 If no reaction occurs : [ e.g : P is Ag ; Salt solution contain Zn2+ ions ]


 The position of metal P is lower than metal Q in the Electrochemical Series.
 P is less electropositive than Q

Activity 19 :-
By using the Electrochemical Series, complete the table below :
Metal
Solution
Cu Pb Fe Zn Mg

Cu(NO3)2

Pb(NO3)2

FeSO4

ZnSO4

MgSO4

Total √

√ reaction occur; X no reaction

The arrangement of metals in the Electrochemical Series is :

The tendency for metals to ionise increases

Chapter 6 41 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

Activity 20 :-

1 An experiment is carried out to determine the relative position of three metals;


silver, L and M in the Electrochemical Series. Diagram Below shows the result of the
experiment.

Experiment I II III

Set up of
apparatus L M M

Silver nitrate solution L nitrate solution

• Grey • Grey • No
deposit deposit change
Observation
• Colour • Light
less solution blue solution

 Inferences :
Experiment I :
(a) L can/cannot* displace silver from silver nitrate solution.
(b) L is more/less* electropositive than silver.
(c) The position of L is higher/lower* than silver in the Electrochemical Series.

Experiment II :
(d) M can/cannot* displace silver from silver nitrate solution.
(e) M is more/less* electropositive than silver.
(f) The position of M is higher/lower* than silver in the Electrochemical Series.

Experiment III :
(g) M can/cannot* displace L from silver nitrate solution.
(h) M is more/less* electropositive than L.
(i) The position of M is higher/lower* than L in the Electrochemical Series.

 Conclusion :
The order of the three metals is :

Increasing of electropositivity

2 Figure below shows the order of metal P, Q, R and S in the Electrochemical


Series.

P, Q, R, S
Decreasing order of electropositivity
Chapter 6 42 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

Describe a laboratory experiment to show the order of these metals in the


Electrochemical Series based on the ability of a metal to displace another metal from
its salt solution.

D2 Importances of the Electrochemical Series

The ion selected to dischage :


The voltage of chemical cell :
Ion at a ………….... position in
The further apart the metals are
the Electrochemical Series, will be
in the Electrochemical Series,
selected to discharge at anode or
the ……………. is the voltage.
cathode.
Electrochemical
Series

The terminals of the


The ability of a metal to
chemical cell :
displace another metal from
its salt solution :
The metal which is situated at
a ………………. position in the A metal which is situated at a
Electrochemical Series will be ……………. position in the
the ……………. terminal while the Electrochemical Series is able
metal which is situated at a to ……………. a metal below it
……………. … position in the in the series from its salt
Electrochemical Series will be the solution.
……………………… terminal.

 Four main uses of the Electrochemical Series :


(a) to predict the chemical cell terminals

 more electropositive metal negative terminal

 less electropositive metal positive terminal

Activity 21 :-
Predict and mark the positive and negative terminals for the following cells :

V V

Ag Zn Mg Cu
Chapter 6 43 Electrochemistry

AgNO3(aq) CuSO4(aq)
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

(b) to predict the voltage of chemical cell

 The further the distance between two metals in the Electrochemical Series, the
higher the voltage of the chemical cell.

Activity 22 :-
Compare the voltage produced (V1, V2, V3 and V4) by the voltaic cell below :

V1 V2

Cu Pb Zn Cu

V3 V4
Cu Ag Ag Mg

 The highest voltage value is …………………

 The lowest voltage value is …………………

(c) to predict the metal displacement reactions

 More electropositive metal can displace a less electropositive metal from its salt
solution.
[ Metals placed higher up in the Electrochemical Series is able to displace metals
placed below them from their salt solutions ]

Example :
Zn plate
(i) zinc metal + copper(II) sulphate solution
CuSO4(aq)
Zn + CuSO4 → Zn SO4 + Cu

Observation :
2+ Zinc is more electropositive than copper
Zn → Zn + 2e  Zinc plate becomes
Zinc corrodes
thinner
 Brown solid formed
Chapter 6 44 Electrochemistry
Blue solution
becomes colourless
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

Copper is less electropositive


Cu2+ + 2e → Cu copper displaced.

Zn + Cu2+ → Zn2+ + Cu

(ii) Lead metal + Magnesium sulphate solution

Pb + MgSO4 → (No reaction occurs)

 lead is less electropositive than magnesium.

Activity 23 :-

Predict whether the following reactions occur or not.


[ If the reaction occurs, put a tick ( √ ) ; if no reaction occurs, put a cross ( X ) ]
Reactants √ / X
1 Copper + zinc sulphate
2 Magnesium + lead(II) nitrate
3 Iron + sodium chloride
4 Aluminium + copper(II) sulphate
5 Aluminium + potassium chloride
6 Silver + copper(II) sulphate
7 Copper + silver nitrate
8 Magnesium + copper(II) chloride
9 Zinc + iron(III) chloride
10 Silver + sulphuric acid
11 Zn + hydrochloric acid

Chapter 6 45 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

(d) to predict the selected ion to be discharged at the electrode in an electrolysis.

Activity 24 :-

Analyse the electrolysis of 0.1 mol dm-3 sodium nitrate solution, using carbon electrodes.

Carbon electrode

0.1 mol dm-3 sodium nitrate solution

Chapter 6 46 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

Activity 25 :-

1 State the importances of Electrochemical Series

Importance
of
Electrochemical Series

Chapter 6 47 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

F Awareness and Responsible practices when handling chemicals used in


Electrochemical Industries

Activity 26 :-
State the example of pollution caused by industries processes involving electrolysis.

Pollution

2 The chemical wastes from electrochemical industries may be ………………………… and

endanger our health. Therefore, these wastes must be ……………. ……………… and

…………….…………….. of in a safe and orderly manner.

Chapter 6 48 Electrochemistry
4541 CHEMISTRY Chapter 6

END OF CHAPTER 6

Chapter 6 49 Electrochemistry