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Position of Transition Elements
in the Periodic Table
Position of Transition Metals in
the Periodic Table
The elements in the periodic table are
often divided into four categories:
(1) main group elements,
(2) transition metals
(3) lanthanides
(4) actinides.


Having the highest Showing less or no Having a low
degree of metallic metallic properties degree of metallic
behavior behaviour
The left side of the Right sight of the Middle side of the
periodic table periodic table periodic table
Shiny appearace Dull appearance Dull or shiny
Show malleability do not show do not show
and ductility mallleability and mallleability and
ductility ductility
Thermal and Thermal and Thermal and
electrical electrical electrical
conductivity is conductivity is conductivity is
very high very low good, but less
The transition metals
 The transition
metals are placed
in the centre of
the periodic table,
between groups 2
and 3.
 They are generally
hard and dense,
and less reactive
than the alkali
 Iron, copper, silver
and gold are
transition metals.
Common properties

1. They are much less reactive than the metals in

group I and II
2. Many have excellent corrosion resistance:
3. Have very high melting point (Tungsten 3410 C –
for fillimanet of light bulbs
4. Hard and strong
5. High density
6. Good conductors of heat
7. Good conductors of electricity
8. Malleable and ductile
Distinctive Properties

1. Many of their compounds are coloured

2. These metals often show more than one valency
– they form more than one type of ion
3. The metals or their compounds often make
useful catalyst
4. A few of the metals are strongley magnetic (Iron,
Cobalt and Nicle)
 The salts of the in Group I, II, and III are generally
white solids.
 They give colourless solutions if they dissolve in
 In contrast, the salt of the transition elements are
often coloured and produce coloured solutions
when dissolved
 Similar trace amounts ( very small amounts ) of
metals produce the colours of gemstones such as
sapphire and ruby. These stones are corundum,
the naturally occuring crystalline form of
aluminium oxide ( Al2O3 ).
Metal ion in solution Formula Colour
Copper ( II ) Cu2+ blue
Iron ( II ) Fe2+ green
Iron ( III ) Fe3+ red-brown
Chromium ( III ) Cr3+ green
Cobalt ( II ) Co2+ pink
Manganate ( VII ) MnO4- purple
Chromate ( VI ) CrO42- yellow
Dichromate ( VI ) Cr2O72- orange
 Pure corundum is colourless but trace amounts of
titanium iron ions together produce the blue
colour of sapphires, while chromium ions ( Cr3+ )
produce the red colour of rubies.
 The colours associated with transition elements
also help in chemical analysis. When testing a salt
solution by adding sodium hydroxide, the
transition elements give hydroxide precipitates
with a characteristic colour.

Normal elements
• Group I always have a valency of 1, group 2’s
valency is always 2, etc.
• H+ , Na+ , Be2+ , Ca2+

Transition elements
• Not always straightforward
• The same elements with different valancies
would have different properties.
• Fe2+ ,Fe3+ , Cr3+ ,Cu2+

 Catalysts are substances that speed up a

chemical reaction without themselves being used
up or changed at the end of the reaction.
 Many of the important industrial catalysts are
either transition elements or their compounds, for
example iron in the Haber Process

 Three of the first row of transition elements are

strongly magnetic. They are iron, cobalt and
nickel. The Earth’s magnetic field is produced by
the liquid and solid iron and nickel in the outer
and inner core of the planet. It is important to
realise that most metals, aluminium for instance,
are not magnetic.

 Iron is only a moderately reactive metal,but it will react with steam or acids to displace hydrogen gas.

 Example:

iron+hydrochloric acidiron(II) chloride+hydrogen

Fe(s)+2HCl FeCl2+H2(g)

 The fact that that iron can form two different positive ions means that an analytical test is needed to distinguish between the
two. Salt and alkali are needed for this test.

 A grey green gelatinous(jelly-like) precipitate of iron(II) hydroxide is formed on adding the alkali:

iron(II) chloride+sodium hydroxide iron(II) hydroxide+sodium chloride

FeCl2(aq)+2NaOH(aq)Fe(OH)2(s)+ 2NaCl(aq)

green precipitate

 The precipitate is not affected by adding excess alkali.The same is

formed if ammonia solution is used instead of sodium hydroxide.A red-
brown gelatinous precipitate of iron(III) hydroxide is formed when alkali
is added:
iron(III) chloride+sodium hyroxide iron(III) hydroxide+sodium chloride

 Copper has a distinctive colour. Its one of the least rectiv metals in common use. It doesn’t
ereact with dilute acids to produce hydrogen. If its heated on air, a black layer of copper
(II) oxide is formed on the metal.
Copper + Oxygen -> Copper (ii) oxide
2Cu(s) + O2(g) -> 2CuO(s)
 Copper statues and roofs become green when exposed to atmosphere for a long time
 Copper carbonate is also found in the Earth’s crust as the mineral malachite. It
decomposes on heating and release CO2
Copper Carbonte -> Copper Oxide + CO2
CuCO3 -> CuO(s) + Co2(g)
 the presence of copper ions can be detected using flame test (blue-green colour).
Copper sulfate + Sodium Hydroxide -> coppper hydroxide + sodium sulfate
CuSO4(aq) + 2NaOH (aq) -> Cu(OH)2(s) + Na2SO4(aq)
 If its heated carefuly, it will turn black. Copper hydroxide is unstable when heated ad
converted to copper oxide. Ammonia solution also produce the same blue precipitate of
coppper hydroxide when mied with sopper sulfate solution.

 Zinc is a moderately reactiv metal that will displace hydrogen from steam or dilute acids.

Zinc + Steam -> Zinc Oxide + Hydrogen

Zn(s) + H2O(g) -> ZnO + H2(g)

Zinc + Hydrochloric acid -> Zinc Chloride + hydrogen

Zn(s) + 2Hcl(aq) -> ZnCl2(aq) + H2(g)

 Zinc carbonate decomposes on heating to give off CO2.

Zinc Carbonatem-> zinc oxide + CO2

ZnCO3(s) -> ZnO(s) + CO2(g)

 Interestngly, when hot, its yellow. When it cools down, it turns white again. Solution of zinc salts produce a white precipitateof
zinc hydroxide.

zinc hydroxide + sodium hydroxide -> sodium zincate + water

ZnSO4(aq) + 2NaOH(aq) -> Zn(OH)2(s) + Na2SO4(aq)

 Zinc hydroxide is an amphoteric hydroxideand it re-dissolves if an access is added. It reacts with sodium hydroxide to
produce zincate.

Zinc Hydroxide + sodium hysdroxide -> sodium zincate

Zn(OH)2(s) + 2NaOH(aq) -> Na2ZnO2(aq) + 2H2O(l)

 These reaction does not help us differenciate between zinc salts and aluminium salts. If we want to differenciate, we must
use amonia solution.
 Uses: building materials, tools,
vehicles, catalyst in manufacture of
 Iron is usually made into steel, which is
stronger and more easily shaped than
iron. Steel is widely used as a structural
material, for example to make
bridges, buildings, ships and cars.
 Uses: fighter aircraft, artificial hip
joints, pipes in nuclear power
 Copper is a very good
conductor of electricity, so it
is used for electricity cables.
It is easily bent into shape
and it does not react with
water, so it is used for water
 USES: electric cables, water
 USES: coins, catalyst in
manufacture of margarine

 Gold does not corrode in air or water, and it is a

good conductor of electricity. It is used for
jewellery, connecting wires for computer chips
and electrical contacts.

 Silver does not corrode in air or water, and it is a

very good conductor of electricity. It is used for
jewellery, printed circuit boards and electrical