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Chemistry > Reactivity Series


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The table below shows the reactivity series of metals and the methods used to extract them from their metal ores.

The reactivity series is used to summarise information about the reactions of metals with acids and water, single displacement reactions and the extraction of metals from their ores.

From bottom to top, the metals...

...increase in reactivity;
...lose electrons more readily to form positive ions;
...corrode or tarnish more readily;
...require more energy (and different methods) to be separated from their ores
...become stronger reducing agents.

Metals - in decreasing order of reactivity Reactivity
potassium
sodium
calcium
magnesium
aluminium
extract by electrolysis
carbon  
zinc
iron
tin
lead
extract by reaction with carbon or carbon monoxide
hydrogen  
copper
silver
gold
platinum
extracted by various chemical reactions