Metals and Non-metals

Reaction with Acids

Metals generally react with acids and produce hydrogen gas. Confirmation of hydrogen gas is done by bringing a burning matchstick or a burning candle near the gas. When the burning matchstick or candle burns with a pop sound it confirms the evolution of hydrogen gas.

Metal + Acid → Salt + Hydrogen

Copper does not react with even concentrated hydrocholoric acid. However, copper reacts with sulphuric acid.

Non-metals generally do not react with acids.


Reaction with Bases

Metals react with sodium hydroxide to produce hydrogen gas.

Metal + Sodium hydroxide → Hydrogen

Non-metals’ reaction with sodium hydroxide is much complex.

Displacement reactions

When a metal displaces another metal from a compound; this is called displacement reaction. In this reaction, a more reactive metal displaces a less reactive metal from a compound.

Reactivity Series: Metals can be arranged in chronological order; on the basis of their reactivity. Such an arrangement of metals is called reactivity series of metals. Sodium and potassium are at the top of the reactivity series. Gold and silver are at the bottom of reactivity series.


Example: When zinc granules are kept in copper sulphate solution, the blue colour of copper sulphate disappears and the solution becomes colourless. Zinc is more reactive than copper and hence displaces copper from copper sulphate solution and forms zinc sulphate.

CuSO4 + Zn → ZnSO4 + Cu

But when copper turnings are kept in zinc sulphate solution, no reaction takes place. In this case, reaction is not possible because copper is less reactive than zinc.

Example: When iron nails are kept in copper sulphate solution, the blue colour of copper sulphate solution disappears and the solution becomes green. Iron is more reactive than copper and hence it displaces copper from copper sulphate solution and forms iron sulphate.

CuSO4 + Fe → FeSO4 + Cu

But when copper turnings are kept in iron sulphate solution, no reaction takes place. In this case, reaction is not possible because copper is less reactive than iron.

Uses of Metals:

Uses of Non-metals:



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