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Chemistry

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
ISBN: 9781133611097

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Chemistry

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
ISBN: 9781133611097
Textbook Problem

A copper penny can be dissolved in nitric acid but not in hydrochloric acid. Using reduction potentials from the book, show why this is so. What are the products of the reaction? Newer pennies contain a mixture of zinc and copper. What happens to the zinc in the penny when the coin is placed in nitric acid? Hydrochloric acid? Support your explanations with data from the book, and include balanced equations for all reactions.

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

The possibility of a copper penny getting dissolved in nitric acid but not in hydrochloric acid is given. The products of the given reaction and the reaction of zinc in zinc-copper penny with nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are to be stated.

Concept introduction:

The species with a higher oxidation potential easily dissolves in the solvent that has a higher reduction potential. The dissolved species undergoes oxidation reaction.

To determine: The products formed during the reaction of copper with nitric acid; the reaction of zinc with nitric acid and hydrochloric acid.

Explanation

The reaction of copper with nitric acid is represented as follows,

Cu(s)+4HNO3(aq)Cu(NO3)2(aq)+NO2(g)+H2O(l)

The products of the reaction are copper nitrate and nitrogen dioxide gas.

The reduction potential of the given redox couples are E°Cu2+/Cu=0.34V , E°NO3/NO=0.96V , E°Cl2/Cl=1.36V and E°Zn2+/Zn=0.76V .

The dissolving of a metal means that it undergoes an oxidation reaction. The reduction potential of NO3 is more than the reduction potential of Cu2+

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