The Activity of Metals Classifying Metals Based on Activity
Predicting the Product of Main Group Metal Reactions

The Activity ofMetals

The main distinction in between steels is the ease via whichthey undergo ubraintv-jp.comical reactions. The elements towards the bottomleft edge of the routine table are the steels that are themany active in the sense of being the many reactive.Lithium, sodium, and also potassium all react through water, for instance.The rate of this reactivity boosts as we go dvery own this column,but, bereason these facets come to be even more energetic as they becomemore metallic.

You are watching: Most reactive metal on the periodic table

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Classifying MetalsBased on Activity

The metals are frequently separated into four classes on the basis oftheir activity, as shown in the table listed below.

Typical Metals Divided into Classes on theBasis of Their Activity


Class I 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 Structural Metals
Cr, Fe, Sn, Pb, Cu
Class IV Metals: The Coinage Metals
Ag, Au, Pt, Hg

The many energetic metals are so reenergetic that they readilyintegrate via the O2 and also H2O vapor in theatmosphere and also are therefore stored under an inert liquid, suchas mineral oil. These metals are found solely in Groups IAand also IIA of the periodic table.

Metals in the second course are slightly much less energetic. Theydon"t react with water at room temperature, but they reactswiftly with acids.

The third course includes steels such as chromium, iron, tin,and lead, which react only through strong acids. It additionally containseven much less active steels such as copper, which only dissolves whentreated with acids that have the right to oxidize the metal.

Metals in the fourth course are so unreactive they arefundamentally inert at room temperature. These steels are ideal formaking jewelry or coins because they perform not react via the vastmajority of the substances through which they come into dailycontact. As an outcome, they are frequently dubbed the "coinagemetals."

Predicting the Productof Key Group Metal Reactions

The product of many kind of reactions between primary team metals andvarious other facets can be predicted from the electron configurationsof the facets.

Example: Consider the reaction in between sodium and also chlorine tocreate sodium chloride. It takes even more energy to rerelocate an electronfrom a sodium atom to develop an Na+ ion than we obtain backonce this electron is added to a chlorine atom to create a Cl-ion. Once these ions are developed, but, the pressure of attractionbetween these ions libeprices sufficient energy to make the followingreactivity exothermic.


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Ho = -411.3 kJ/mol

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

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Potassium and also hydrogen have actually the following electronconfigurations.


K: 4s1 H: 1s1

When these aspects react, an electron hregarding be transferredfrom one aspect to the various other. We have the right to decide which facet shouldlose an electron by comparing the initially ionization power forpotassium (418.8 kJ/mol) via that for hydrogen (1312.0 kJ/mol).

Potassium is much more most likely to lose anelectron in this reaction, which indicates that hydrogen gains anelectron to create K+ and H- ions.

See more: How Are Active Continental Margins Related To Plate Tectonics?

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Practice Problem 1:

Write a balanced equation for the complying with reaction.

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