The activity of metals Classifying Metals based upon Activity
Predicting the Product the Main team Metal reactions

The activity ofMetals

The major difference between metals is the ease with whichthey experience aramuseum.orgical reactions. The aspects toward the bottomleft edge of the routine table room the steels that are themost active in the feeling of gift the most reactive.Lithium, sodium, and potassium every react v water, for example.The price of this reaction boosts as we go down this column,however, because these aspects become more active together they becomemore metallic.

You are watching: Which element is the most active metal

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Classifying MetalsBased on Activity

The metals are often divided into four classes ~ above the basis oftheir activity, as displayed in the table below.

Common Metals divided into classes on theBasis of your Activity


Class ns Metals: The active Metals
Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs (Group IA)
Ca, Sr, Ba (Group IIA)
Class II Metals: The Less active Metals
Mg, Al, Zn, Mn
Class III Metals: The structure Metals
Cr, Fe, Sn, Pb, Cu
Class IV Metals: The Coinage Metals
Ag, Au, Pt, Hg

The most active metals room so reactive that they readilycombine with the O2 and also H2O vapor in theatmosphere and are as such stored under one inert liquid, suchas mineral oil. These steels are uncovered exclusively in teams IAand IIA the the routine table.

Metals in the 2nd class room slightly much less active. Theydon"t react through water at room temperature, yet they reactrapidly with acids.

The 3rd class has metals such together chromium, iron, tin,and lead, i m sorry react only with strong acids. It likewise containseven less energetic metals such as copper, which only dissolves whentreated v acids that deserve to oxidize the metal.

Metals in the fourth class are so unreactive castle areessentially inert at room temperature. These steels are appropriate formaking jewelry or coins due to the fact that they do not react with the vastmajority that the substances with which lock come right into dailycontact. Together a result, they room often referred to as the "coinagemetals."

Predicting the Productof Main group Metal reaction

The product of plenty of reactions in between main team metals andother facets can be predicted native the electron configurationsof the elements.

Example: think about the reaction in between sodium and also chlorine toform salt chloride. The takes much more energy to remove an electronfrom a sodium atom to type an Na+ ion 보다 we obtain backwhen this electron is included to a chlorine atom to type a Cl-ion. As soon as these ions are formed, however, the pressure of attractionbetween these ion liberates enough energy to do the followingreaction exothermic.


Na(s) + 1/2 Cl2(g) " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/aramuseum.orgistry/genaramuseum.org/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> NaCl(s)
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Ho = -411.3 kJ/mol

The net result of this reaction is to move one electronfrom a neutral sodium atom to a neutral chlorine atom to form Na+and Cl- ions that have actually filled-shell configurations.

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Potassium and hydrogen have actually the complying with electronconfigurations.


K: 4s1 H: 1s1

When these elements react, one electron has to be transferredfrom one facet to the other. We have the right to decide which element shouldlose one electron by compare the very first ionization energy forpotassium (418.8 kJ/mol) through that for hydrogen (1312.0 kJ/mol).

Potassium is much much more likely to shed anelectron in this reaction, which means that hydrogen gains anelectron to type K+ and also H- ions.

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Practice problem 1:

Write a well balanced equation for the complying with reaction.

Li(s) + O2(s) " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/aramuseum.orgistry/genaramuseum.org/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif">