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Main Group Oxides Reactions

Reactions with Group 1 Elements

The elements of Group 1 consist of: Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium, and Francium. These elements are called the alkali metals because they react strongly with water and create hydroxide ions and hydrogen gas, leaving a basic solution. 

2M(s) + 2H2→ 2M+(aq) + 2OH-(aq) + H2(g)                      M = Group 1 metal

Group 1 metals are very reactive with oxygen and must be kept away from oxygen in order to not get oxidized. These alkali metals rapidly react with oxygen to produce several different ionic oxides.

Oxides: O2- , peroxides: O22- , super oxide: O2- .

The usual oxide, M2O, can be formed with alkali metals generally by limiting the supply of oxygen. 

With excess oxygen, the alkali metals can form peroxides, M2O2, or superoxides, MO2.

Lithium: Reacts with oxygen to give 2Li2O, lithium oxide. Reactions are shown below.

          4Li(s) + O2(g)→2Li2O(s)

Sodium: Reacts with oxygen to form mostly sodium peroxide, Na2O2 . Na2O2 along with Li2O2 is used in emergency breathing devices in submarines and spacecrafts. Reactions are shown below.

          2Na(s) + O2(g) → Na2O2(s)

The rest of the group, K, Rb, Cs, and Fr, forms the superoxides.

M(s) + O2(g) → MO2(s)             M= K, Rb, Cs, Fr

Metal oxides, peroxides, and superoxides that dissolve in water react with water to form basic solutions.

Oxide ion with water:               O2-(aq) + H2O(l) → 2OH-(aq)

Peroxide ion with water:           O22-(aq) + 2H2O(l) → H2O2(aq) + 2OH-(aq)

Superoxide ion with water:        2O2-(aq) + 2H2O(l) → H2O2(aq) + 2OH-(aq) + O2(g)


Reactions with Group 14 Elements 

The elements in Group 14 consist of carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, and lead. Carbon is the only nonmetal element of the group 14. Silicon is mostly nonmetallic. Germanium is a metalloid or semi-metal. Tin and lead have mainly metallic properties.

Carbon: Reacts with oxygen to form oxides. The main form of oxides of carbon are carbon monoxide, CO, and carbon dioxide, CO2.

Carbon dioxide is the primary product of burning organic materials and also a byproduct of respiration. During photosynthesis carbon is combined with water to form carbohydrates.

            6CO2+ 6H2O C6H12O6 + 6O2

Carbon is the building block to many organic compounds.

Carbon dioxide is the only oxide formed when carbon is burned in an excess of air.

The reactions are shown below.

            C(s) + O2(g) → CO2       

            2C(s) + O2(g) → 2CO

Silicon: Forms only one stable oxide with the empirical formula SiO2, silica. In silica, each Si atom is bonded to four O atoms and each O atom to two Si atoms forming a network covalent solid with a network of –Si–O–Si– bonds. 

Germanium: Forms germanium dioxide which is covalent network solid similar to  silicon dioxide. 

Tin: Forms two primary oxides, SnO and SnO2. By heating SnO in air, it can be converted to SnO2. SnO2 is used as a jewerly abarasive. The reactions are shown below.

            Sn(s) + O2(g) → SnO2(s)

            2Sn(s) + O2(g) → 2SnO(s)

Lead: Forms a several forms of oxides. The best known oxides of lead are yellow lead oxide,  PbO, red-brown lead dioxide, PbO2,and red lead, Pb3O4. The reactions are shown below.

            2Pb(s) + O2(g) → 2PbO(s)

            Pb(s) + O2(g) → PbO2(s)

            3Pb(s) + 2O2(g) → Pb3O4(s)

Reactions with Group 15 Elements 

The elements in Group 15 consist of : nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth. Nitrogen and phosphorus are nonmetallic, arsenic and antimony are metalloids, and bismuth is metallic.

Nitrogen: Forms a sires of oxides in which the oxidation state of N can have every value ranging from +1 to +5. All these oxides are gases at room temperature except for N2O5, which is solid.

Preparation of Oxides of Nitrogen: Reactions are shown below.

N2O                 NH4NO3(s) —∆→ N2O(g) + 2H2O(g)

NO                  3Cu(s) + 8H+(aq) + 2NO3-(aq) → 3Cu2+(aq) + 2NO(g) + 4H2O(l)

N2O3                     2NO(g) + N2O4(g) —-20°C→ 2N2O3(l)

NO2                 2Pb(NO3)2(s) —∆→ 2PbO(s) +4NO2(g) + O2(g)

                        2NO(g) + O2(g) <=> 2NO2(g) 

N2O4                 2NO2(g) <=> N2O4(g)

N2O5                4HNO3                (l) + P4O10 ) —-10°C→ 4HPO3(s) + 2N2O5(s)