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$\left(\mathrm{Hg}\right)$ is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.It can be obtained by heating cinnabar or Mercury(II) sulfide $\left(\mathrm{HgS}\right)$.Reaction of cinnabar with oxygen:When cinnabar$\left(\mathrm{HgS}\right)$ is heated in presence of atmospheric oxygen$\left({\mathrm{O}}_{2}\right)$ then Mercury(II) oxide $\left(\mathrm{HgO}\right)$ and Sulfur dioxide $\left({\mathrm{SO}}_{2}\right)$are formed. Then further mercury oxide is heated and elemental mercury$\left(\mathrm{Hg}\right)$ is obtained.The chemical reaction can be depicted as: $2\mathrm{HgS}\left(\mathrm{s}\right)+3{\mathrm{O}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)\stackrel{∆}{\to }2\mathrm{HgO}\left(\mathrm{s}\right)+2{\mathrm{SO}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}2\mathrm{HgO}\left(\mathrm{s}\right)\stackrel{∆}{\to }2\mathrm{Hg}\left(\mathrm{l}\right)+{\mathrm{O}}_{2}\left(\mathrm{g}\right)$

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