Two acids that are used a lot in chemistry are:
A common characteristic of all acids is that they contain hydrogen. Metals above hydrogen in the reactivity series can displace hydrogen from acids. A general rule for the reaction between acids and metals is:
Acid + Metal → Salt + Hydrogen
So, when acids react with metals, they form a salt and hydrogen gas. The salt produced depends on the acid used in the reaction and the metal it reacts with.
Let’s look at how hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid react with magnesium, zinc and iron.
|Metal||Hydrochloric acid||Sulfuric acid|
|Magnesium (Mg)||2HCl + Mg → MgCl2 + H2||H2SO4 + Mg ⟶ MgSO4 + H2|
|Zinc (Zn)||2HCl + Zn → ZnCl2 + H2||H2SO4 + Zn ⟶ ZnSO4 + H2|
|Iron (Fe)||2HCl + Fe → FeCl2 + H2||H2SO4 + Fe ⟶ FeSO4 + H2|