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Question

A solution of CuSO4 was kept in an iron pot. After a few days, the iron pot was found to have a number of holes in it. Explain the reason in terms of reactivity. Write the equation of the reaction involved.


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Solution

  • From the reactivity series we know that iron is more reactive than copper.
  • As a result when Copper sulphate is kept in the iron pot, the iron displaces the copper in the Copper sulphate solution and forms Iron sulphate.
  • Also a portion of the iron is dissolved during this process which results in holes formed in the pot.
  • The complete reaction is:

Fe(s)Iron+CuSO4(aq)CoppersulphateFeSO4(aq)Ferroussulphate+Cu(s)Copper

  • This reaction is called displacement reaction as the Iron being more reactive than Copper displaces it and forms Ferrous sulphate.
  • There is another type of reaction occurring which is a redox reaction(oxidation and reduction happening together).
  • Iron loses 2 electrons and thus undergoes oxidation, and Copper gains 2 electrons and undergoes reduction:

Fe(s)-2e-Fe2+(aq)(oxidation,actsasreducingagent)Cu2+(aq)+2e-Cu(s)(reduction,actsasoxidisingagent)


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