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Thread: Why group IA elements react violently with water?

  1. #1 Why group IA elements react violently with water? 
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    My question is obviously mentioned in the question title, so please answer to this and help me in improving my chemistry knowledge.
    *** I highly appreciate if you can explain your answer.
    Thanks...
    Cheers~


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  3. #2  
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    The elements of the group IA are highly electropositive, so they can loose their valence electron very easily. On the other hand, oxygen is a highly electronegative element, and can "steal" the valence electron of any element of the group IA very easily. That's the principle of the reactions between elements of the group IA and water. There are details on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali_metal

    PS: Sorry for any language error, English is not my native language.


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    The oxygen in water will rip the electrons away from the alkali metal, the electrons will replace the hydrogens in the water and they will form H<sub>2</sub>, which is very flammable. The reaction is highly exothermic, and the heat produced will ignite the H<sub>2</sub>, causing an explosion and the reaction that you see.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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