Why does metal not react with metal
Reduction - extraction of metals through the release of oxygen
In this text we explain to you how metals can be extracted and with the help of which chemical reaction this is possible.
Metals are very important for industry. Whether in the car or in the smartphone, different metals are used everywhere. In nature, however, metals very rarely occur in their pure form, so that they can be used directly. Most are associated with other substances and are present, for example, as metal oxides (associated with oxygen) or metal sulfides (associated with sulfur). In order to make the metals usable, they have to be separated from these substances. In the following I would like to explain to you with which method this is done.
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Extraction of metals through reduction
When we have a metal oxide that needs to be separated from the oxygen, we need another substance as an aid. Metals react differently with oxygen. That depends on how noble a metal is.Noble Metals hardly react with oxygen,ignobleMetals, on the other hand, react very strongly with oxygen. One speaks of a highOxygen affinity. If we want to free a metal from its bound oxygen, we need a substance that is less noble than our metal or has a higher affinity for oxygen. I would like to show you this process using the example of copper oxide.
As you can see, copper ($ Cu $) is one of the more noble metals. That means that the affinity Oxygen binding is not that high. If we want to detach the bound oxygen from the copper oxide, we need another metal or element that is less noble and can therefore attract and bind the oxygen more strongly. To show you how this process works, I'll show you the reaction of copper and iron. As you can see in the graphic, iron is less noble than copper:
The process of reduction
$ Copper oxide + iron \ rightarrow copper + iron oxide $
$ CuO + Fe \ rightarrow Cu + FeO $
In our reaction, the copper releases the bound oxygen to the iron, which is then oxidized ($ FeO $). Since iron reduces the copper oxide by its oxygen in this reaction, it is also called Reducing agent. The copper has now separated from the oxygen and is now in pure form.
In the narrower sense, oxidation means the uptake of oxygen, and reduction means the release of oxygen. In a general or broader sense, however, an oxidation represents a release of electrons and a reduction represents an uptake of electrons. In the present case, copper was reduced and iron was oxidized.
To detach a metal oxide from its oxygen, it can be made to react with a less noble metal that absorbs the oxygen.
Now you know everything there is to know about the chemical reaction of the reduction and how it is used for the extraction of pure metals in industry. You can now use your newly learned knowledge with the help of ours Exercises test out. We wish you a lot of fun and success!
Test your knowledge!
What is necessary for the reduction of a metal oxide?
What happens during the reduction at the level of the electrons?
What is meant by the term oxygen affinity?
Which description fits "ignoble"?
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