AP Chemistry : Single and Double Replacement Reactions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Chemistry

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Fundamental Reaction Concepts

Given that lithium is higher on the activity series than hydrogen, what should be seen when solid lithium and hydrochloric acid are mixed?

Possible Answers:

None of these

No change

Increase in test tube's temperature

Change in color

Bubbles

Correct answer:

Bubbles

Explanation:

Given that lithium is more reactive than hydrogen, expect a single replacement reaction to take place, so lithium will replace hydrogen.

All ionic compounds are solids at room temperature, which is why lithium chloride has the solid phase label. Remember that hydrogen is a diatomic element which is a gas a room temperature. When observing reactions in which gasses are produced from a solution, bubbles are seen. There is no indication whether this reaction is endothermic or exothermic, nor is there any information that suggests the reaction should change color.

Example Question #1 : Single And Double Replacement Reactions

What type of reaction is shown above?

Possible Answers:

Combustion

Single replacement

Double replacement

Decomposition

Correct answer:

Double replacement

Explanation:

The typical double replacement reaction is as follows:

 

The anions are the chemical species being exchanged (both sulfur and chloride). Hence, the name double replacement is given to this particular reaction.

Example Question #2 : Single And Double Replacement Reactions

The following unbalanced reaction is important in the process of Steel Manufacturing:

Balance the following equation and name it's reaction type:

Possible Answers:

, double replacement reaction

, double replacement reaction

, single replacement reaction

, single replacement reaction

, single displacement reaction

Correct answer:

, single displacement reaction

Explanation:

Use the following steps to balance the equation:

1.) Check for diatomic molecules: in this case there are none so move on to step 2

2.) Balance the metals (hydrogen is not considered a metal in this application): There are 2 iron atoms on the left hand side and 1 iron atom on the right hand side so we add a 2 in front of the Fe on the right hand side to give:

3.) Balance the nonmetals (not including oxygen). There is one carbon on both sides so move on to step 4

4.) Balance oxygen. There are 3 oxygens on the left hand side and only 1 on the right hand side, so we can add a 3 in front of carbon monoxide on the right hand side to give:

5.) Balance hydrogen. No hydrogens, so we move on.

6.) Recount all atoms to make sure you have balanced correctly. There are 2 iron atoms on both sides and 3 oxygen on both sides.  However our carbons are no longer balanced so we can add a 3 in front of the elemental carbon on the left hand side to give:

 

If this problem had involved ionic species you would also want to make certain that the charges are balanced on both sides of the equation.

The charges on both sides add up to zero so your equation is balanced:

Single v.s Double Replacement Reaction:

Single replacement Reaction:

A single replacement reaction is defined as a type of reduction-oxidation reaction in which a more active element replaces a less active element in a compound. These reactions produce a new compound and an element as the products.  

General chemical equation:

Double Replacement Reaction:

A double replacement reaction is a type of reaction in which two reacting chemical species exchange bonds (ionic or covalent) resulting in the creation of two new products.  

General chemical equation:

 is also important in steel manufacturing and is a single replacement reaction. However, the equation given was so the difference being carbon monoxide production rather than carbon dioxide production. In reality both reactions occur simultaneously.

Example Question #13 : Fundamental Reaction Concepts

What is used as guidelines to determine the phase labels for double displacement/double replacement reactions?

Possible Answers:

Activity series

Oxidation-reduction

Solubility rules

Octet rule

Huckel number

Correct answer:

Solubility rules

Explanation:

For double displacement, the solubility rules determine the phase labels. Make sure the correct set of rules/guidelines for the type of reaction that is being written/balanced are used. The octet rule refers to the stability atoms achieve by filling their outer shell of electrons. Huckel number is 4n+2 where n is any integer, and is involved in assigning aromaticity. 

Example Question #3 : Single And Double Replacement Reactions

For single replacement reactions, which of the following sets of guidelines are most helpful?

Possible Answers:

Octet rule

Oxidation-reduction

Activity series

Boyle's law

Solubility rules

Correct answer:

Activity series

Explanation:

When writing/balancing a single replacement reaction, make sure to consult the activity series, because that will tell us if a reaction will actually take place. Remember to look at the cations (metals and hydrogen) and where they are in relation to each other on the activity series. The higher one on the activity series is the most reactive; so if the cation by itself is the most reactive, it will replace the other cation and a reaction will occur. Boyle's law explains the inverse relationship between volume and pressure with respect to certain amount of an ideal gas at constant temperature.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: