Problem: Suppose you have 5.05 g of powdered magnesium metal, 1.05 L of 2.00 M  potassium nitrate solution, and 1.05 L of 2.00 M  silver nitrate solution.Which one of the solutions will react with the magnesium powder?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the solution that can react with magnesium: Potassium Nitrate or Silver Nitrate. We may disregard the volume and concentration of each since they are the same.


We have two possible reactions:

Mg (s)   +   KNO3 (aq)    →  

Mg (s)   +   AgNO3 (aq)  → 


Recall that the activity series gives us the relative reactivities of metals to oxidationmetals higher in the activity series are more reactive to oxidation and vice-versa.


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Problem Details

Suppose you have 5.05 g of powdered magnesium metal, 1.05 L of 2.00 M  potassium nitrate solution, and 1.05 L of 2.00 M  silver nitrate solution.

Which one of the solutions will react with the magnesium powder?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Activity Series concept. You can view video lessons to learn Activity Series. Or if you need more Activity Series practice, you can also practice Activity Series practice problems.