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Last updated date: 01st Dec 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Is copper more reactive than iron? Give a reaction in support of your answer.

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Hint: The metals potassium, sodium, lithium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper can be arranged in decreasing order of reactivity based on their reactions with water and dilute acids.

Complete answer:
Copper is less reactive than iron. Since, according to the atomic structure, iron has four unpaired shells in its three sub shells, while copper only has one electron. As a result, iron can react faster than copper. One general example is that iron rusts when it comes into contact with moist air, while copper does not. As a result, copper wires are used in electric wires.
Set up the two test tubes for metal reactivity testing.
Take a copper nail and an iron nail that are both clean.
Place the copper wire in an iron sulphate solution and the iron nail in a copper sulphate solution.
After some time has passed, write down your findings.
The reaction would be visible in the test tube containing the iron nail and copper sulphate solution. Sulphate is taken away from copper by iron. You will see that a reaction occurs, and copper is left alone. We may now assume that copper sulphate has been replaced by iron.
Iron + copper sulphate $\rightarrow$ Copper + iron sulphate
The more reactive metal displaces the less reactive metal in such a reaction. As a result of the preceding activity, iron is more reactive than copper.

Copper does not have a higher reactivity than iron.
\[Cu + FeS{O_4} \rightarrow \text{No reaction}\]
Since copper is less reactive than iron, it does not displace iron from its solution.
A less reactive metal is displaced from a solution by a more reactive metal.