## Thursday, 26 February 2015

### 3.3.2 - Laboratory Activity: Position of Carbon in the Reactivity Series

 Laboratory Activity 3.3.2: Position of Carbon in the Reactivity Series
Aim: To determine the position of carbon in the reactivity series.
Problem statement: How to determine the position of carbon in the reactivity series?
Hypothesis: If carbon is more reactive than the metal, it can remove oxygen from its metal oxides.
Variable:
 » Fixed variable : Carbon powder » Manipulated variable : Metal oxides » Responding variable : Ability to reduce

 Material: » Carbon powder » Copper (II) oxide » Zinc oxide » Lead (II) oxide » Magnesium oxide » Aluminium oxide Apparatus: » Crucible » Tripod stand » Spatula » Bunsen burner » Fireclay triangle
Procedure:

The animation below shows the arrangement of the apparatus and the observation of the experiment.

 1 One spatula of lead (II) oxide is mixed with one spatula of carbon powder in a crucible and heated strongly on a fireclay triangle placed on a tripod stand. 2 The changes are noted and recorded. 3 The experiment is repeated by replacing lead (II) oxide with other metal oxide.
Observation:

 Mixture Observation Carbon + lead (II) oxide A reddish glow and shinning grey metallic solid is formed. Carbon + aluminium oxide No reaction Carbon + zinc oxide The mixture glow and grey deposits is formed.
Analysis:

Carbon reduces lead (II) oxide, copper (II) oxide and zinc oxide. Therefore carbon must have occupied a higher position than lead and zinc in the reactivity series.
 ○ C(s) + 2ZnO(s) → 2Zn(s) + CO2(g) ○ C(s) + 2PbO(s) → 2Pb(s) + CO2(g)

Carbon does not reduce aluminium oxide. This show that carbon having the lower position than aluminium in the reactivity series.

Therefore, the position of carbon in the reactivity series is between aluminium and zinc.
Conclusion:
 ► Carbon is places between aluminium and zinc in the reactivity series.