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Question

Which of the following is used in the extraction of metal from their oxide ores? 
  1. CO
  2. O2
  3. Both (a) and (b) 
  4. None of the above 


Solution

The correct option is A CO
CO is a colourless, odorless and water insoluble gas. It is a power reducing agent. Hence, it is used in the extraction of metals from their oxide's ores. 
Fe2O3(s)+3CO(g)Δ3CO2(g)+2Fe(s)
ZnO(s)+CO(g)ΔZn(s)+CO2(g)

O2 is an oxidising agent so  it does not have this property.
THEORY
Properties:
  • CO is a colorless, odorless, and almost water-insoluble gas.
  • It is a powerful reducing agent. This property of CO is used in the extraction of many metals from their oxide ores.
  • Fe2O3(s)+3CO(g)3CO2(g)+2Fe(s)
  • ZnO(s)+CO(g)Zn(s)+CO2(g)
  • The molecule contains one sigma and two π bonds between Carbon and Oxygen.
  • Due to the presence of lone pair on C, CO acts as a donor and reacts with certain metals when heated to give metal carbonyls.
  • The highly poisonous nature of CO arises because of its ability to form a complex with haemoglobin.
A CO-haemoglobin is about 300 times more stable than the O2-haemoglobin complex. This prevents haemoglobin in the red blood corpuscles from carrying oxygen around the body and ultimately resulting in death.
 

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