What is the reaction when hydrochloric acid and zinc are combined?

Answer

When hydrochloric acid is combined with zinc, hydrogen gas (H2) and zinc chloride (ZnCI2) is formed. The formula for this reaction is:

Zn(s) + 2HCl(aq) --> ZnCl2(aq) + H2(g).

This is a single-displacement reaction. Studying the reaction of zinc and hydrochloric acid is a common chemistry experiment in the classroom. All reactions either produce or absorb heat, an effect called reaction enthalpy. This reaction produces heat, and is an excellent example of negative enthalpy.

Other simple experiments combine this reaction with water, or use the hydrogen gas created by this reaction to inflate a balloon. These experiments are a great way to get students engaged with some fundamental aspects of chemistry, but remember to perform any experiments in a controlled environment with appropriate safety procedures.
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