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Reduction of metal oxides by Carbon

  1. Sep 3, 2011 #1
    Can Carbon displace Aluminium, Silver and Gold from their oxides ?

    Also where is Carbon found in the reactivity series ?

    Edit : Got confirmation of Carbon's position in the reactivity series. But I still have a doubt about Silver and Gold because they are unreactive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2011 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    You are not asking about metals, but about their oxides.

    In general, the less reactive the metal, the easier it is to reduce its oxide.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2011 #3
    OK thanks again.

    So why is it harder/not possible to reduce the oxides of a highly reactive metal like Potassium by Carbon ?
     
  5. Sep 3, 2011 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Several reasons. One is that some metals can react directly with carbon creating carbides, acetylides or methanides. Other is that some metals are reactive enough to reduce carbon dioxide to carbon (think magnesium burning in CO2). This is not much different from applying the reactivity series.
     
  6. Sep 4, 2011 #5
    Thanks:)
     
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