how do metals react with acids? explain through examples.

Metals react with acids to form the corresponding metal salt and hydrogen gas. The general equation for this process can be represented as

 Metal + Acid → Metal salt + Hydrogen gas

However, all metals will not react with acids. Only those metals which are more reactive than hydrogen and so placed above hydrogen in the activity series will show the above reaction. For example, zinc is more reactive than hydrogen. So, it will react will dilute HCl to form zinc chloride and hydrogen gas. Silver, being less reactive than hydrogen does not react with dilute HCl.

Zn (s) + 2HCl (aq) → ZnCl2 (aq) + H2 (↑)

Ag (s) + HCl → no reaction

Another important point to note is that hydrogen gas is not evolved when a metal reacts with nitric acid. This is because nitric acid is a strong oxidising agent. It oxidises the hydrogen gas produced in the reaction to form water and itself gets reduced to nitrogen oxides like nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and nitrous oxide. 

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When an acid reacts with metals, salt and hydrogen gas are produced. Thus, metals react with acids and replace the available hydrogen(s) to form salt. This can be represented as follows:

For example, sulphuric acid (H2SO4) reacts with calcium (Ca) to produce hydrogen gas (H2). Calcium sulphate (metal salt) is also produced in the reaction. The chemical equation involved is as follows:

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metals react with acids to form hydrogen and an ionic compound where the metal is the cation and the anion from the acid is the anion.


A.Put the cup into the empty 250 cm3 beaker so that the cup is more stable.

B. Measure 20 cm3 of hydrochloric acid into the polystyrene cup.

C. Measure and record the starting temperature of the acid.

D. Add the first of the powdered metals and stir the mixture with the thermometer.

E. Observe the temperature over the next few minutes until a maximum temperature is reached. Record the rise in temperature.

F. Discard the residues into the plastic bowl provided. Do not pour the metal and acid mixture into the sink.

G. Rinse and dry the polystyrene cup. Then repeat the experiment using each of the other metals in turn. Use a fresh cup if necessary.

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metal + acid =salt+hydrogen gas

examples are 

Fe+2HCL=FeCl2+h2 (gas)


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