Chapter Name: Metals and Non-Metals
Activity Name: Reaction with water in Metals and Non-Metals
In this experiment, the reaction of sodium (a metal) with water is demonstrated to show its extreme reactivity. Additionally, the reactions of other metals, such as aluminum and iron, with water are also compared to highlight the differences in reactivity.
- 500 ml beaker or a big glass trough
- Sodium metal (stored in kerosene)
- Sheet of filter paper
- Litmus paper
Step by Step Procedure:
- Fill half of the beaker or glass trough with water.
- Take the sodium metal and place it on a sheet of filter paper to blot the kerosene.
- Cut a very small piece of sodium from the metal and carefully put the remaining sodium back in the kerosene for storage.
- Stand away from the trough and use forceps to place the small piece of sodium in the water.
- Observe the reaction as the sodium piece floats on the surface of the water with a ‘hissing’ sound, indicating its extreme reactivity with water.
- After the reaction is complete, test the solution with litmus paper to check for any changes in acidity or alkalinity.
- Repeat the same experiment using aluminum or iron metals.
- Observe that there is no significant change even after five minutes, indicating that these metals react extremely slowly with water.
- Sodium reacts extremely fast with water, producing a ‘hissing’ sound and floating on the water’s surface.
- Aluminum and iron show little to no reaction with water within the observation period.
- This experiment involves the use of highly reactive sodium metal, so it should be carried out by the teacher or a trained individual.
- Students should watch the demonstration from a safe distance to avoid any potential hazards.
Lesson Learnt from Experiment:
The experiment demonstrates the stark contrast in reactivity between different metals and water. Sodium exhibits a highly exothermic and rapid reaction with water, while aluminum and iron show minimal reactivity.