What is the chemical equation for the reaction of copper and hydrochloric acid?

Expert Answers
Seema Adiga eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Copper does not react with hydrochloric acid.

Let us discuss metals and their reactions with dilute acids briefly.

All metals do not react with the same rate. Metals are arranged below in a series in the order of their decreasing activities.

K > Na > Ca > Mg > Al > Zn > Fe > Pb > H > Cu > Hg > Ag > Au

Potassium, Sodium and Calcium are the metals with the highest reactivities. They react with dilute acids at room temperature itself.

The metals of moderate reactivity are Magnesium, Aluminium, Zinc, Iron and Copper.

Mercury, Silver(Ag), Gold(Au) are the metals with low reactivity.

In the series the metals above hydrogen react with dilute acids to give salt and hydrogen gas.

Metal + dil. acid ---------> Salt + hydrogen gas

example: `2Na + 2HCl -------------gt 2NaCl + H_2`

The metals below hydrogen do not react with dilute acids. Because they are less reactive than hydrogen and they cannot displace hydrogen from dilute acid.

Therefore copper does not react with hydrochloric acid.