Reactions with acids

Acids and reactive metals

Acids will react with reactive metals, such as magnesium and zinc, to make a salt and hydrogen:

acid + metal → salt + hydrogen

hydrochloric acid + zinc → zinc chloride + hydrogen

The hydrogen causes bubbling during the reaction, and can be detected using a burning splint which produces a squeaky pop sound.

Acids and metal oxides

When acids react with metal oxides, a salt and water are made:

acid + metal oxide → salt + water

nitric acid + magnesium oxide → magnesium nitrate + water

Acids and metal carbonates

When acids react with carbonates, such as calcium carbonate (found in chalk, limestone and marble), a salt, water and carbon dioxide are made. In general:

acid + metal carbonate → salt + water + carbon dioxide

sulfuric acid + iron → iron sulfate + water + carbon dioxide

The carbon dioxide causes bubbling during the reaction. It can be detected by passing the gas through limewater, which will go cloudy.

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