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Zinc and Acids

  1. Sep 24, 2005 #1
    Does zinc react with both acetic acid (CH3COOH) and phosphoric acid (H3PO4)? I can't figure out the chemical equations for them and am wondering if no reactions occur.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2005 #2


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    Dropping a piece of Zn metal into an acid will cause the liberation of hydrogen.

    The standard electrode (reduction) potential Eo of Zn, i.e.

    Zn2+ + 2 e- --> Zn is -0.763 V

    whereas the potential for hydrogen, the reference is 0.

    2 H+ + 2 e- --> H2 ,

    so zinc will be oxidized and H will be reduced, and the rate will be determined by the strength or concentration (pH) of the acid and the dissolution of the Zn.
  4. Sep 24, 2005 #3
    Since I'm on the subject of zinc, did I balance/write these chemical equations properly?

    Zn + 2AgNO3 --> 2Ag + Zn(NO3)2 (zinc with silver nitrate)

    Zn + Cu(NO3)2 --> Cu + Zn(NO3)2 (zinc with copper nitrate)

  5. Sep 24, 2005 #4
    Looks fine.
  6. Sep 25, 2005 #5
    Are these chemical equations even remotely correct?

    (zinc with acetic acid) Zn + 2CH3CO2H --> H2 + Zn(C2H3O2)2

    (zinc with phosphoric acid) 3Zn + 2H3PO4 --> 3H2 + Zn3(PO4)2

  7. Sep 26, 2005 #6
    Any volunteers?

  8. Sep 26, 2005 #7


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    Looks OK, although I would write Zn(CH3CO2)2 to be consistent on both sides of equation.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2005
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