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Question 17

Consider the reactions:

(a) H3PO2(aq) + 4 AgNO3(aq) + 2 H2O(l) → H3PO4(aq) + 4Ag(s) + 4HNO3(aq)


(b) H3PO2(aq) + 2CuSO4(aq) + 2 H2O(l) → H3PO4(aq) + 2Cu(s) + H2SO4(aq)


(c) C6H5CHO(l) + 2 [Ag (NH3)2]+(aq) + 3OH-(aq) → C6H5COO-(aq) + 2Ag(s) + 4NH3(aq) + 2 H2O(l)


(d) C6H5CHO(l) + 2Cu2+(aq) + 5OH-(aq) → No change observed.


What inference do you draw about the behaviour of Ag+and Cu2+from these reactions?


Ag+ and Cu2+ act as oxidising agents in reactions (a) and (b) respectively.

In reaction (c), Ag+ oxidises C6H5CHO to C6H5COO-, but in reaction (d), Cu2+ cannot oxidise C6H5CHO.

Hence, we can say that Ag+ is a stronger oxidising agent than Cu2+.

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