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Question

A metal that exists as a liquid at room temperature is obtained by heating its sulfide in the presence of air. Identify the metal and its ore and give the reaction involved.


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Solution

Mercury:

  • Most metals are solid at room temperature but Mercury(Hg) is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.
  • It can be obtained by heating cinnabar or Mercury(II) sulfide (HgS).

Reaction of cinnabar with oxygen:

  • When cinnabar(HgS) is heated in presence of atmospheric oxygen(O2) then Mercury(II) oxide (HgO) and Sulfur dioxide (SO2)are formed. Then further mercury oxide is heated and elemental mercury(Hg) is obtained.
  • The chemical reaction can be depicted as:

2HgS(s)+3O2(g)2HgO(s)+2SO2(g)2HgO(s)2Hg(l)+O2(g)


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