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Chemistry > Metals and Nonmetals > Occurrence of Metals
Metals and Nonmetals

Occurrence of Metals

We might not realise it but metals are an important part of our lives. Ever since the industrial ages, our reliance on metals is very high. We use them for everything, from construction to jewellery. But where do we get these metals from and how is it produced? Let us find out more about the occurrence of a metal.

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Occurrence of Metals

The crust of the earth provides metals and it is a good source to procure metals. Mostly, the metals occur in nature in a combined state but sometimes they can also occur in the free state. A native metal is a metal found in its metallic state naturally, either in pure form or in the form of an alloy. Most metals can’t resist natural processes like oxidation, corrosion, etc. Hence, only non-reactive metals like gold, silver, platinum, etc are found in the native or free state. Most metals are obtained in the form of compounds and they need to be filtered from their impurities to be further used for various applications. The process of procuring metals from ores is called metallurgy and these naturally occurring compounds of metals are known as minerals. Metals are usually extracted from the earth by mining.

Ores

All ores are minerals, but not all minerals are ores. Ores are those minerals which contain metals. The picture shown above is a gold-bearing ore. Different methods are used to extract different metals. For instance, common metals like iron are smelted using carbon as a reducing agent. Few metals, such as aluminum and sodium, don’t have a commercially practical reducing agent and are extracted using electrolysis instead. Sulfide ores are not reduced directly to the metal but are roasted in air to convert them to oxides.

Gangue or Matrix

The gangue or matrix is an unwanted, commercially useless, rocky, earthy or sandy materials that are found with the ores. These are the impurities are filtered out at a later stage.

Download Occurrence of Metals Cheat Sheet PDF

Extraction of Metals

The occurrence of metals in nature is only a part of the process, these metals also have to be extracted. Metallurgy is the process of extracting metals. The basic step of extracting metals is called concentration of ores.

Concentration of Ores

The ores contain a lot of impurities that need to be filtered. The filtration of these impurities from ores is known as concentration. Concentration can be done by gravity separation or hydraulic washings, or froth flotation process.

Metals of high reactivity level

Metals in the top of the reactivity level i.e. metals like sodium, magnesium, calcium, etc cannot be obtained from their compound by heating with carbon as they are very reactive. Electrolytic reduction is used to obtain such metals.

Metals of medium reactivity level

Metals in the middle of the reactivity series i.e metals like lead, zinc, copper, etc are moderately reactive and are generally present as carbonates or sulphides. Sulphides ores are converted into oxides by heating strongly in the presence of excess air. Sulphur impurities can escape as gas, this process is known as roasting. Carbonates ores are calcinated to eliminate carbonate and moisture impurities. Calcination is a process where the ore is converted into oxides by heating strongly in the presence of excess air.

Metals of low reactivity level

Metals that aren’t very reactive are placed low in the reactivity series. These metals can be reduced to metals by heating alone. For example, Mercury is procured from its ore, cinnabar (HgS), by the process of heating. Copper can also be obtained from its sulphide ore (Cu2S) by heating.

Solved Example for You

Q: Which is the most reactive metal?

  1. Iron
  2. Mercury
  3. Sodium
  4. Potassium

Ans: The correct answer is option ‘c’. Sodium (Na) is the most reactive metal. Sodium is kept in kerosene so that it doesn’t react with the oxygen and moisture present in the air.

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Sandeep
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Sandeep

Name a meatal which we can cut with a knife

sagar singh
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sagar singh

Potassium, sodium and lithium

Diya rawat
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Diya rawat

sodium and pottasium

Hsi
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Hsi

Potassium

Bigyan
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Bigyan

Lead

Rahil
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Rahil

Sodium

Manya Shukla
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Manya Shukla

Sodium(Na)

arshia
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arshia

sodium can be cut with knife because it is very soft at room temperatures

Anish Jadhav
Guest
Anish Jadhav

Sodium is a soft metal which can be cut with a knife

Adarsh singh
Guest
Adarsh singh

Potassium and sodium

Adarsh singh
Guest
Adarsh singh

Sodium, potassium

Harsh
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Harsh

Sodium , pottasium , lithium .

Sneha
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Sneha

Potassium and sodium

Uspenj
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Uspenj

Hello

dave
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dave

why is everyone here Indian

studies lover
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studies lover

BECAUSE INDIAN LOVE STUDYING U SILLY FORENINGER

Joe
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Joe

no

Uspenj
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Uspenj

Sodium and potassium

Taishika
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Taishika

Sodium and potassium

Shraddha
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Shraddha

Murcury

Adarsh
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Adarsh

Sodium and potassium

Anushree
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Anushree

Pottasium and sodium

Anushka bhise
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Anushka bhise

Sodium

Rhythm
Guest
Rhythm

Lithium, potassium and sodium are the metals which can cut with a knife

Rohan
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Rohan

Alkali metals such as (lithium,sodium,potassium) are so soft that they can be cut with a knife.

Sumrita sinha
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Sumrita sinha

Sodium and potassium

Hariraman
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Hariraman

Your dick

Pragya Yadav
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Pragya Yadav

Sodium

Deepak
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Deepak

Sodium and potassium

Swagatika Mohapatra
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Swagatika Mohapatra

Lithium

Swagatika Mohapatra
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Swagatika Mohapatra

Sodium also

Tashiya
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Tashiya

Na

Cm Do
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Cm Do

Sodium.

jnorelyy
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jnorelyy

my dick as well

Payal
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Payal

…with whom specially metals 3.point with whom it is related from non metals

Bryan
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Bryan

Sodium

Casey
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Casey

Name a non metal which can cut a knife

Pratham Karwarkar
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Pratham Karwarkar

Lithium, Potassium and sodium

Kopw
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Kopw

What’s the. Most important chemical property of nonmetals

Roxanne
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Roxanne

They tend to have low melting and boiling point

Cm Do
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Cm Do

They can easily gain electrons.

cockman
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cockman

my dick

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