Q:

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

A:

Quick Answer

The reaction between zinc and hydrochloric acid is Zn + HCl = H2 + ZnCl2. It is a single replacement reaction where zinc metal displaces the hydrogen to form hydrogen gas and zinc chloride, a salt.

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Zinc reacts quickly with the acid to form bubbles of hydrogen. Carrying out the experiment in a closed sidearm flask allows collection of the gas in a balloon. Exposing the balloon to the heat of a lighted candle causes a rapid reaction, as the hydrogen reacts with oxygen to form water.

The zinc and hydrochloric acid reaction is an example of oxidation-reduction. The zinc metal begins the process as a pure metal with an ionic charge of zero and loses an electron as it reacts with the acid to become a positively charged zinc ion through oxidation. At the same time, hydrogen undergoes reduction by gaining an electron to become a neutral molecule.

Zinc is an important nutrient for animals and crops, including rice. In an application of the zinc and hydrochloric acid experiment, scientists have suggested adding weak hydrochloric acid to irrigation water. The acid reacts with zinc metal, found in the soil, to form zinc ions in a type the plant is able to use to improve crop yields.

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Related Questions

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    How is hydrochloric acid produced?

    A:

    In the United States, hydrochloric acid is produced via four main processes: the synthesis of chlorine and hydrogen, the chlorination of organic substances, the salt-sulfuric acid production method and the manufacture of silica that yields hydrochloric acid as a co-product. The formation of hydrochloric acid, with the chemical formula HCl, occurs when hydrogen chloride gas is dissolved in water.

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    Does aluminum react with hydrochloric acid?

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    Aluminum reacts with hydrochloric acid. Aluminum is extremely reactive and undergoes several reactions. However, if one were to put a piece of aluminum foil in a beaker of hydrochloric acid, there may not be a reaction because of the oxide coating electrolytically applied during production. The reaction will occur with pure aluminum shavings.

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    Does iron react with hydrochloric acid?

    A:

    Iron reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce dihydrogen and iron(II) chloride. When an HCl solution is added to iron powder, the H+ and Cl- ions from hydrochloric acid disassociate. The Cl- anions form ionic bonds with iron to form FeCl2. The H+ ions pair up, and release as hydrogen gas.

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