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Group 2 Metal Reactions
AKA: Magnesium and Calcium Reactions


Magnesium and calcium are reacted with hydrochloric acid and their reactions compared.


Tiny pieces of magnesium and fresh calcium are given to students to react in a test tube with a small amount of hydrochloric acid. Because calcium is slightly more reactive in acid than the magnesium, a visually more extreme reaction should occur.

Equipment required (per set):

  • Hydrochloric acid (1 mol dm¯³) (Irritant)
  • Small pieces of magnesium ribbon (highly flammable)
  • Small pieces of fresh calcium (highly flammable)
  • 2 Test tubes
  • Test tube rack
  • Splint

The equations for each reaction are below:

Magnesium + hydrochloric acid magnesium chloride + hydrogen

Mg + 2HCl MgCl2 + H2

Calcium + hydrochloric acid calcium chloride + hydrogen

Ca + 2HCl CaCl2 + H2

Tests for hydrogen can be conducted in both reactions by holding a lit splint close to the top of the tube.


 Wear eye protectionWear eye protection.

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