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ERIC Number: EJ918271
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Spectator Ions ARE Important! A Kinetic Study of the Copper-Aluminum Displacement Reaction
Sobel, Sabrina G.; Cohen, Skyler
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n6 p616-618 Jun 2010
Surprisingly, spectator ions are responsible for unexpected kinetics in the biphasic copper(II)-aluminum displacement reaction, with the rate of reaction dependent on the identity of the otherwise ignored spectator ions. Application of a published kinetic analysis developed for a reaction between a rotating Al disk and a Cu(II) ion solution to the simple reaction using aluminum foil and a copper solution is demonstrated. The chloride-acceleration effect is found to be true for both chloride and bromide and should be more generally termed a halide-acceleration effect. This interesting and simple reaction can be used to deepen students' understanding of biphasic processes that are important industrially, that is, aluminum corrosion, and to "burst the bubble" of rigid thinking that spectator ions always can be ignored. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A