Difference Between Single And Double Displacement Reaction

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Displacement Reactions: single and double displacements
There are two types of displacement reactions: One type is called the single displacement reaction, the other is called the double displacement reaction. During a single displacement reaction, an element substitutes another element in a compound, creating a new element and a new compound as products. (Ritter, Plumb, Jenkins, van Kessel, & A. Hirsch, 2001) In most single displacement reactions, either a metal replaces another metal, or a non-metal replaces another non-metal. The more reactive element takes the place of the less reactive element in the compound, the reaction will not occur otherwise. The activity series show the chemical reactivity of elements. The general
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Single displacement reaction happens in the test tube A and double displacement reactions occur in both test tube B and C. In test tube A, the reactants are copper sulfate and magnesium. Magnesium is an element and copper sulfate is a compound. In a single displacement reaction, a reactive element displaces another less reactive element in a compound. After checking the activity series for metals, I know that magnesium is more reactive than copper sulfate; so that in the reaction, magnesium takes place of the copper element in copper sulfate to produce copper metal and magnesium sulfate. During the reaction, a red-brown precipitate is produced. This means either copper metal or magnesium sulfate is insoluble. The solubility tables show that magnesium sulfate is soluble, so that the precipitate is copper. Copper is a solid element and has the same colour as the precipitate, which proves that the single displacement reaction occur in test tube …show more content…
As the reactants don’t contain a single reactive element, the reaction cannot be single displacement. Thus, the reaction is a double displacement. Double displacement reaction is a chemical reaction, in which the positive ions of two different chemical compounds exchange and produce two new compounds. In the reaction, Calcium and magnesium element of two compounds exchange, forming the calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride. I noticed that during the reaction, some white powder is produced and starts precipitating at the bottom of the test tube. After checking calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride in the solubility table, I found out that the precipitate is calcium sulfate as it is insoluble in water.
In addition, double displacement also occurs in the test tube C. The positive ions of magnesium sulfate and sodium carbonate exchange and form magnesium carbonate and sodium sulfate. I checked both sodium sulfate and magnesium carbonate’s solubility in the solubility tables, which shows that magnesium carbonate is insoluble in water and sodium sulfate is insoluble; so magnesium carbonate is the precipitate at the bottom of the test tube. As a result, the type of reaction in test tube C is double

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