CHEM 101L Chapter Notes - Chapter 6.5: Chemical Equation, Electronegativity, Salt Metathesis Reaction

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CHEM 101: Precipitation Reactions and Introduction to the Purification of
In the natural world, many resources come in mixtures. Within those mixtures are
many things we have no use for and want to get rid of. If a metal is mixed in within
carbon deposits or other organic deposits, it is called an ore. If a metal is mixed
within other metals, it is called an alloy. In nature alloys are very common but they
are used as is, but ores on the other hand contain compounds undesirable to us and
so we must purify them into a more pure state. By purifying an ore we can get rid
of the organic deposits that we don’t need and obtain the metal portions of the ore
that we want to extract. The process is known as purification, but purification is
one form of a precipitation reaction that has unique properties that gives it its name.
A precipitation reaction occurs when two solutions are mixed and a precipitate is
formed. In our specific case of ores, the metal of the ore is not what is reacted but
the organic deposits. By reacting the organic deposits, the deposits exit the metal
ore and therefore purifies it. A common purification process is using steam to
create a aqueous solution of the ore and then reacting it with a solution of lower
electronegativity of the metal (that way the organic substances react and not the
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