Chemist’s Tools: Activity Series of Metals

The following table shows the activity series for some of the more common metals in order of deceasing reactivity, with the most reactive metal at the top of the list. It should not be surprising to you to find the alkali metals at the top of the list and the more unreactive metals at the bottom of the list.

Use this table to predict single replacement reactions.

This is a reference table and will be available to you in examinations. Do not attempt to memorize this table.


Lithium Li Li+ + e
Potassium K K+ + e
Barium Ba Ba2+ + 2 e
Calcium Ca Ca2+ + 2 e
Sodium Na Na+ + e
Magnesium Mg Mg2+ + 2 e
Aluminum Al Al3+ + 3 e
Manganese Mn Mn2+ + 2 e
Zinc Zn Zn2+ + 2 e
Chromium Cr Cr3+ + 3 e
Iron Fe Fe2+ + 2 e
Cobalt Co Co2+ + 2 e
Nickel Ni Ni2+ + 2 e
Tin Sn Sn2+ + 2 e
Lead Pb Pb2+ + 2 e
Hydrogen H2 2 H+ + 2 e
Copper Cu Cu2+ + 2 e
Silver Ag Ag+ + e
Mercury Hg Hg2+ + 2 e
Platinum Pt Pt2+ + 2 e
Gold Au Au3+ + 3 e

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