ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: The reactions of metals and water

  • Water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen
  • When metals react with water they remove the oxygen from the water
  • We say the metals displace the hydrogen from the water
  • A metal oxide is formed
  • Freeing up the oxygen
  • The following word equation summarizes the nature of these reactions
  • \text{metal + water}\rightarrow\text{metal oxide+hydrogen}
  • An example of such an equation is:
  • \text{magnesium + water}\rightarrow\text{magnesium oxide+hydrogen}
  • The byproduct of these reactions is hydrogen gas
  • It makes a popping sound when it comes in contact with a lighted splint
  • Calcium reacts much more easily with water
  • Magnesium is less reactive when compared to calcium
  • To speed up the reaction of water and magnesium steam is used instead of water

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.