Comparison of Chemical Properties of Metals and Non-metals


Reaction with
Metal + Oxygen→Metal oxide
4Na(s) + O2(g) →2Na2O(s)
4Al(s) + 3O2(g) →2Al2O3
Metals form basic oxides
Zn and Al form amphoteric oxides (they show the properties of both acidic and basic oxides)
Most of the metal oxides are insoluble in water Some of them dissolve to form Alkali
Na2O(s) + H2O(l) →2NaOH(aq)
Non-metal + Oxygen →Non-metal oxide
C + O2 →CO2
S + O2 →SO2
Non-metals form acidic
CO and HO2O are neutral oxides(they are neither acidic nor basic in nature)  Non- metal oxides are soluble in water
They dissolve in water to form acids
SO2 + H2O →H2SO3


with water
Metals react with water to
form metal oxides or metal hydroxide and H2 gas is released.
2Na(s) + 2H2O(l) →2NaOH +
H2(g) + heat
Non-metals do not react
with water, steam to evolve hydrogen gas. Because  Non-metals cannot give electrons to hydrogen in water so that it can be released as H2 gas.


with dilute
Metal + Acid →Metal salt + Hydrogen

Mg(s) + 2HCl(aq)→ MgCl2(aq) + H2(g)
2Na(s) + H2SO2→ Na2SO4(aq) +H2(g)
Metal + HNO3→ H2 gas is not displaced.
Reason- HNO3 is strong oxidizing agent.

Non-metals do not react with acids to release H2gas
Reason- Non-metals cannot loose electrons and give it to Hydrogen ions of acids so that the gas is released.
Mn + 2HNO3→ Mn(NO3)2 + H2
H2 gas from HNO3


with salt solutions
When metals react with salt
solution, more reactive metal will displace a less reactive metal from its salt solution.
CuSO4(aq) + n(s)→ ZnSO4(aq) + Cu(s)
When non-metals react
with salt solution, more reactive non-metal will displace a less reactive non-metal from its salt solution.
2NaBr(aq) + Cl2(g)→ 2NaCl(aq) + Br2(aq)


Reaction with Chlorine Metal + Chlorine→ Metal Chloride
ionic bond is formed. Therefore Ionic compound is obtained. 2Na+ Cl2 → 2NaCl
Non-metal + Chlorine→Non-metal Chloride

covalent bond is formed. Therefore covalent compound is obtained. H2(g) + Cl2 → 2HCl 

6 Reaction
with Hydrogen
Metals react with hydrogen
to form metal hydride This reaction takes place only for most reactive metals.       2Na(s)+ H2(g) → 2NaH(s)
Non-metals react with hydrogen to form hydrides     H2(g) + S(l) → H2S(g)

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