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Metals and Nonmetals

Real-World Question

Metals on asteroids appear attractive for min- ing to space programs because the metals are essential for space travel. An asteroid could be processed to provide very pure iron and nickel. Valuable by-products would include cobalt, platinum, and gold. How can miners determine if an element is a metal or a nonmetal?

Goals

  • Describe the appearance of metals and nonmetals.

  • Evaluate the malleability or brittleness of metals and nonmetals

  • Observe chemical reactions of metals and nonmetals with an acid and a base.

Materials (per group of 2–3 students)

10 test tubes with rack 10-mL graduated cylinder forceps or tweezers small hammer or mallet dropper bottle of 0.5M HCl dropper bottle of 0.1M CuCl2 test-tube brush

marking pencil 25 g carbon 25 g silicon 25 g tin 25 g sulfur 25 g iron

Safety Precautions

Procedure

  • 1.

    Copy data table into your Science Journal. Fill in data table as you complete the lab.

  • 2.

    Describe in as much detail as possible the appearance of the sample, including color, luster, and state of matter.

  • 3.

    Use the hammer or mallet to determine malleability or brittleness.

  • 4.

    Label 5 test tubes #1–5. Place a 1-g sample of each element in separate test tubes. Add 5 mL of HCl to each tube. If bubbles form, this indicates a chemical reaction.

  • 5.

    Repeat step 4, substituting HCl with CuCl2. Do not discard the solutions immediately. Continue to observe for five minutes. Some of the changes may be slow. A chemical reaction is indicated by a change in appear- ance of the element.

Analyze Your Data

  • 1.

    Analyze Results What characteristics distin- guish metals from nonmetals?

  • 2.

    List which elements you discovered to be metals.

  • 3.

    Describe a metalloid. Are any of the elements tested a metalloid? If so, name them.

Metal and Nonmetal Data

Malleable Element Appearance or Brittle

Reaction wth HCl

carbon silicon tin sulfur iron

Do not write in this book.

Reaction with CuCl

2

Conclude and Apply

  • 1.

    Explain how the future might increase or decrease the need for selected elements.

  • 2.

    Infer why discovering and mining metals on asteroids might be an important find.

LAB K

117

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