Reaction of zinc with hydrochloric acid

Reaction of zinc with hydrochloric acid

The dissolution of zinc in hydrochloric acid produces hydrogen gas.

Chemistry

Keywords

zinc, hydrochloric acid, reaction, chemical, redox reaction, reduction, oxidation, gain of electron, loss of electron, electron exchange, metal, metal lattice, hydrogen molecule, gas formation, hydrogen generation, heavy metal, inorganic chemistry, chemistry

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Narration

Zinc is a bluish-white heavy metal. It is soluble in acids and alkalis; the process generates hydrogen. Hydrochloric acid is a monobasic acid; during dissociation one hydrogen chloride molecule releases one hydrogen ion. In an aqueous solution, the hydrogen ion binds to a water molecule to form a hydronium ion. The reaction of zinc with hydrochloric acid is an example of a redox reaction, that is, it involves an exchange of electrons.

The zinc atom reacts with the hydrogen ions, that is, the hydronium ions resulting from the dissociation of the hydrochloric acid. The zinc atom releases two electrons and oxidates into a zinc ion. The hydrogen ions bind the electrons released by the zinc atom and are reduced into hydrogen atoms.
These then bind to form hydrogen molecules; the resulting hydrogen gas leaves the solution as bubbles. In laboratories, this reaction is often used to produce hydrogen gas.

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