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Homework Help: Explain why Zn is released and write the general equation.

  1. Nov 2, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    We throw clean Zn in a HCl solution and see that nothing happens. We add 2-3 drops CuSO4 and some kind of gas starts to release. Why dos this happen? Write the equation

    2. Relevant equations
    Zn+HCl->ZnCl2+H2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know that equation and also:
    Zn+CuSo4->ZnSo4+Cu
    But why doesn't H2 release in the first experiment? Maybe because it is too clean. COuld you also hep me with the general equation?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2015 #2

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Zn reacts from the very beginning, just slowly. Traces of copper reduced on the Zn surface speed up the reaction between Zn and H+.
     
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