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Doc Brown's Chemistry  Advanced Level Inorganic Chemistry Periodic Table Revision Notes

Part 4. Revising Survey of Period 2 Li to Ne

4.1 Survey of the individual elements of Period 2

A summary of the physical and chemical characteristics of the elements of period 2, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine and neon.

For non-A level students (c) doc b KS4 Science GCSE/IGCSE Periodic Table notes links

 INORGANIC Part 4 Period 2 survey sub-index : 4.1 Period 2 survey of the individual elements : 3. lithium : 4. Beryllium : 5. Boron : 6. Carbon : 7. Nitrogen : 8. Oxygen : 9. Fluorine : 10. Neon * 4.2 Period 2 element trends & explanations of physical properties * 4.3 Period 2 element trends in bonding, structure, oxidation state, formulae & reactions

Advanced Level Inorganic Chemistry Periodic Table Index * Part 1 Periodic Table history * Part 2 Electron configurations, spectroscopy, hydrogen spectrum, ionisation energies * Part 3 Period 1 survey H to He * Part 4 Period 2 survey Li to Ne * Part 5 Period 3 survey Na to Ar * Part 6 Period 4 survey K to Kr and important trends down a group * Part 7 s-block Groups 1/2 Alkali Metals/Alkaline Earth Metals * Part 8  p-block Groups 3/13 to 0/18 * Part 9 Group 7/17 The Halogens * Part 10 3d block elements & Transition Metal Series * Part 11 Group & Series data & periodicity plots


Part 4. Survey of Period 2: Li across to Ne (8 elements, Z = 3 to 10)

4.1 Survey of the individual elements Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F and Ne


Z = 3 lithium Li in Group 1 Alkali Metals

  • The structure of the element:

    • Giant lattice metallic structure of immobile positive metal ions surrounded by a 'sea' of freely moving mobile electrons (so-called delocalised electrons).

  • Physical properties

    • Relatively soft silvery solid, less dense than water; mpt 181oC; bpt 1347oC; good conductor of heat/electricity.

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp1 Alkali Metal; e.c.  2,1 or 1s22s1; (+1 only) e.g. LiCl, Li2O etc.

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • Burns when heated in air to form the ionic white solid, lithium oxide, (Li+)2O2-.

      • 4Li(s) + O2(g) ==> 2Li2O(s) 

  • Reaction of oxide with water:

    • It is a basic oxide, readily dissolving/reacting to form an alkaline solution of lithium hydroxide of pH 13-14.

      • Li2O(s) + H2O(l) ==> 2LiOH(aq) 

  • Reaction of oxide or hydroxide with common mineral acids:

    • Li2O behaves as a basic oxide dissolving to form the chloride, sulphate and nitrate salt in the relevant dilute acid.

    • The hydroxide MOH is a strong base and alkali (since a soluble base) and similarly forms salts.

    • Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and LinksLi2O(s) + 2HCl(aq) ==> 2LiCl(aq) + H2O(l)

      • LiOH(aq) + HCl(aq) ==> LiCl(aq) + H2O(l)

    • Li2O(s) + H2SO4(aq) ==> Li2SO4(aq) + H2O(l)

      • 2LiOH(aq) + H2SO4(aq) ==> Li2SO4(aq) + 2H2O(l)

    • Li2O(s) + 2HNO3(aq) ==> 2LiNO3(aq) + H2O(l)

      • LiOH(aq) + HNO3(aq) ==> LiNO3(aq) + H2O(l)

    • In all cases the ionic equations are

      • for M2O: Li2O(s) + 2H+(aq) ==> 2Li+(aq) + H2O(l)

      • for MOH: OH-(aq) + 2H+(aq) ==> H2O(l)

  • Reaction of oxide with strong bases/alkalis:

    • None, lithium oxide is ONLY basic.

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • Burns when heated in chlorine to form white powder/colourless crystals of ionic lithium chloride, Li+Cl-.

      • 2Li(s) + Cl2(g) ==> 2LiCl(s) 

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • The salt readily dissolves forming a neutral solution of hydrated lithium and chloride ions (~pH 7).

      • LiCl(s) + aq ==> Li+(aq) + Cl-(aq) 

      • or LiCl(s) + 4H2O(l) ==> [Li(H2O)4]+(aq) + Cl-(aq) 

      • The chloride ion is such a weak base it shows no chemical interaction with water and the lithium ion shows virtually no acidic character, so lithium chloride solution is neutral ~pH 7.

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • The metal reacts quite quickly forming hydrogen gas and alkaline lithium hydroxide, pH 13-14.

      • 2Li(s) + 2H2O(l) ==> 2LiOH(aq) + H2(g)

  • Other comments:

    • -

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 4 Beryllium Be in Group 2 Alkaline Earth Metals

  • The structure of the element:

    • Giant lattice metallic structure of immobile positive metal ions surrounded by a 'sea' of freely moving mobile electrons (so-called delocalised electrons).

  • Physical properties

    • Quite hard silvery solid; mpt 1278oC; bpt 2487oC; moderately good conductor of heat/electricity.

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp2 Alkaline Earth Metal; e.c.  2,2 or 1s22s2; (+2 only) e.g. BeCl2, BeO.

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • Forms a white powder of beryllium oxide (intermediate ionic-covalent character) when heated strongly in air.

      • 2Be(s) + O2(g) ==> 2BeO(s) 

  • Reaction of oxide with water:

    • It is insoluble in water, and shows no reaction with water, but is an amphoteric oxide and reacts with acids or alkalis to form salts e.g.

      • Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Linkswith hydrochloric acid it forms beryllium chloride.

        • BeO(s) + 2HCl(aq) ==> BeCl2(aq) + H2O(l) 

      • with sodium hydroxide it forms sodium beryllate(II)

        • BeO(s) + 2NaOH(aq) + H2O(l) ==> Na2[Be(OH)4](aq) 

  • Reaction of oxide with acids:

    • Behaves as a basic oxide dissolving to form the chloride, sulphate and nitrate salt in the relevant dilute acid.

    • BeO(s) + 2HCl(aq) ==> BeCl2(aq) + H2O(l)

    • BeO(s) + H2SO4(aq) ==> BeSO4(aq) + H2O(l)

    • BeO(s) + 2HNO3(aq) ==> Be(NO3)2(aq) + H2O(l)

    • In all cases the ionic equation is: BeO(s) + 2H+(aq) ==> Be2+(aq) + H2O(l)

  • Reaction of oxide with strong bases/alkalis:

    • The oxide also behaves as an acidic oxide by dissolving in strong soluble bases to form beryllate(II) salts.

    • BeO(s) + 2NaOH(aq) + H2O(l) ==> Na2[Be(OH)4](aq) 

    • e.g. forming sodium beryllate(III) with sodium hydroxide.

    • ionic equation: BeO(s) + 2OH-(aq) + H2O(l) ==> [Be(OH)4]2-(aq) 

    • Therefore beryllium oxide is an amphoteric oxide, because of this dual acid-base behaviour.

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • Forms covalent beryllium chloride when heated in chlorine.

      • Be(s) + Cl2(g) ==> BeCl2(s) 

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • With an excess of water, the salt tends to hydrolyse to give a gelatinous beryllium hydroxide precipitate and a hydrochloric acid solution.

      • BeCl2(s) + 2H2O(l) Be(OH)2(s) + 2HCl(aq) 

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • None with cold water. 

  • Other comments:

    • Beryllium shows considerable anomalous behaviour compared to the rest of Group 2 (Mg to Ra) e.g. the covalent chloride and the amphoteric oxide. It also has a maximum co-ordination number of 4, e.g. in the tetra-aqa beryllium(II) ion and the beryllate(II) ion shown above. This applies to all the period 2 elements, but for period 3 e.g. magnesium, the maximum co-ordination number is 6.

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 5 Boron B in Group 3/13

  • The structure of the element:

    • Non-metal existing as a giant covalent lattice, Bn, where n is an extremely large number.

  • Physical properties

    • Hard high melting solid; mpt 2300oC; bpt 3659oC;  poor conductor heat/electricity.

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp3; e.c. 2,3 or 1s22s22p1;  (+3 only) e.g. B2O3 and BCl3 etc.

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • Reacts when heated strongly in air to form boron oxide which has a giant covalent structure.

      • 4B(s) + 3O2(g) ==> 2B2O3(s)  

  • Reaction of oxide with water:

    • Insoluble, no reaction but it is a weakly acidic oxide.

  • Reaction of oxide with acids:

    • None, only acidic in acid-base behaviour.

  • Reaction of oxide with strong bases/alkalis:

    • Presumably dissolves to give a solution of sodium borate.

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • Forms covalent liquid boron trichloride on heating in chlorine gas.

      • 2B(s) + 3Cl2(g) ==> 2BCl3(l) 

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • It hydrolyses to form boric acid and hydrochloric acid.

      • BCl3(l) + 3H2O(l) ==> B(OH)3(aq)* + 3HCl(aq) 

      • * can also be, but less accurately, written as H3BO3 

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • None.

  • Other comments:

    • -

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 6 Carbon C in Group 4/14

  • The structure of the element:

    • Non-metal existing as three allotropes covalently bonded. Diamond (tetrahedral bond network) and graphite (layers of connected hexagonal rings) have giant covalent structures Cn where n is an extremely large number, and a series of large molecules (3rd allotrope) called fullerenes e.g. C60.

    • Bonding details and diagrams of the allotropes of carbon.

  • Physical properties

    • mpt 3547oC; bpt 4827oC; very hard colourless/light coloured diamond (poor conductor) or dark softish/slippery crystals of graphite (moderate conductor of heat/electricity).

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp4; e.c. 2,4 or 1s22s22p2;  (can be +2, but usually +4) e.g.

    • (+2) CO, (+4) CO2 and CCl4 etc.

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • Burns when heated in air to form carbon dioxide gas.

      • C(s) + O2(g) ==> CO2(g)

      • In limited air/oxygen, carbon monoxide would be formed too.

      • 2C(s) + O2(g) ==> 2CO(g)

  • Reaction of carbon dioxide with water:

    • Quite soluble to form a weakly acid solution of pH 4-5. So called carbonic acid, H2CO3, does not really exist, but the dissolved carbon dioxide reacts with water to form hydrogen/oxonium ions and hydrogencarbonate ions. The equilibrium is very much on the left - hence the fizz in 'fizzy drinks'!

      • CO2(aq) + 2H2O(l) H3O+(aq) + HCO3-(aq) 

  • Reaction of oxide with acids:

    • None, only acidic in acid-base behaviour.

  • Reaction of oxide with bases/alkalis:

    • It is a weakly acidic oxide dissolving sodium hydroxide solution to form sodium carbonate.

    • CO2(g) + 2NaOH(aq) ==> Na2CO3(aq) + H2O(l)

    • ionic equation: CO2(g) + 2OH-(aq) ==> CO32-(aq) + H2O(l)

    • With excess of carbon dioxide, sodium hydrogencarbonate is formed.

    • CO2(g) + Na2CO3(aq) + H2O(l) ==> 2NaHCO3(aq)  

    • ionic equation: CO2(g) + CO32-(aq) + H2O(l) ==> 2HCO3-(aq)  

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • None directly.

    • Tetrachloromethane (carbon tetrachloride) is made by fully chlorinating methane in a multi-stage reaction.

      • CH4(g) + 4Cl2(g) ==> CCl4(l) + 4HCl(g)

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • None. CCl4(l) cannot readily act as a Lewis acid* and accept a lone pair from a water molecule at the polar C-Cl bond to start the hydrolysis process.

      • * In the case of SiCl4, 3d orbitals can be used to accept a lone pair from water, so providing a mechanistic route for hydrolysis to occur. (compare with silicon).

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • No reaction with cold water but red hot carbon reacts with steam to form carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

      • C(s) + H2O(g) ==> CO(g) + H2(g) 

  • Other comments:

    • All of organic chemistry is based on the compounds of carbon except for the oxides and carbonates.

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 7 Nitrogen N in Group 5/15

  • The structure of the element:

    • Non-metal existing as diatomic molecule N2, with a triple covalent bond, NN.

  • Physical properties

    • Colourless gas; mpt -210oC; bpt -196oC; poor conductor of heat/electricity.

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp5; e.c. 2.5  or 1s22s22p3; Variety of oxidation states from -3 to +5 e.g.

    • NH3 (-3), N2O (+1), NO (+2), NCl3 (+3), NO2 (+4) and N2O5 and HNO3 (+5).

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • At high temperatures e.g. in car engines, nitrogen(II) oxide (nitrogen monoxide) is formed.

      • N2(g) + O2(g) ==> 2NO(g) 

    • and the nitrogen(II) oxide rapidly reacts in air to form nitrogen(IV) oxide (nitrogen dioxide).

      • 2NO(g) + O2(g) ==> 2NO2(g) 

    • The theoretical highest oxide is N2O5 nitrogen(V) oxide (nitrogen pentoxide) and does exist.

  • Reaction of oxides with water:

    • Nitrogen(IV) oxide dissolves to form an acidic solution of weak nitrous acid and strong nitric acid.

      • 2NO2(g) + H2O(l) ==> HNO2(aq) + HNO3(aq) 

        • or 2NO2(g) + 2H2O(l) ==> HNO2(aq) + H3O+(aq) + NO3-(aq) 

    • NO and N2O are neutral oxides but nitrogen(V) oxide is strongly acidic and dissolves to form nitric acid.

      • N2O5(s) + H2O(l) ==> 2HNO3(aq) 

        • or N2O5(s) + 3H2O(l) ==> 2H3O+(aq) + 2NO3-(aq) 

  • Reaction of oxides with acids:

    • None, only acidic (N2O3 (very unstable), NO2 and N2O5) or neutral (N2O and NO), in nature.

  • Reaction of oxides with bases/alkalis:

    • Nitrogen(IV) oxide or nitrogen dioxide forms sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate with sodium hydroxide solution.

    • 2NO2(g) + 2NaOH(aq) ==> NaNO2(aq) + NaNO3(aq) + H2O(l)

    • ionic equation: 2NO2(g) + 2OH-(aq) ==> NO2-(aq) + NO3-(aq) + H2O(l)

    • As well as being a neutralisation reaction, it is also a redox reaction, the oxidation states  of oxygen (-2) and hydrogen (+1) do not change BUT the oxidation state of nitrogen changes from two at (+4) to one at (+3) and one at (+5). The simultaneous change of an element into an lower and upper oxidation sate is sometimes called disproportionation.

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • None, but the unstable yellow oily liquid chloride can be made indirectly.

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • Slowly hydrolyses to form weak nitrous acid and strong hydrochloric acid.

      • NCl3(l) + 2H2O(l) ==> HNO2(aq) + 3HCl(aq) 

        • or NCl3(l) + 2H2O(l) ==> HNO2(aq) + 3H+(aq) + 3Cl-(aq) 

        • or NCl3(l) + 5H2O(l) ==> HNO2(aq) + 3H3O+(aq) + 3Cl-(aq) 

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • Slightly soluble but no reaction.

  • Other comments:

    • An essential element for plants, hence need for nitrogen compounds in compost and artificial fertilisers (NPK bags!).

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 8 Oxygen O in Group 6/16

  • The structure of the element:

    • Non-metal existing as diatomic molecule, O2, with a double covalent bond.

    • It has two allotropes: 'normal oxygen' O2 (dioxygen above) and the highly unstable and reactive gas ozone, O3 (trioxygen).

  • Physical properties of the element

    • O2 is a colourless gas; mpt -218oC; bpt -183oC;  poor conductor of heat/electricity.

      • O3 is a pale blue gas.

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp6; e.c. 2,6  or 1s22s22p4;  Normally (-2) e.g. H2O, CO2 etc. but can have other ox. states ...

    • e.g. H2O2 (-1), F2O (+2).

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • O2 molecules won't react with themselves BUT in the upper atmosphere oxygen atoms are formed by high energy radiation/particle collision with oxygen molecules causing homolytic bond fission to produce free oxygen atom (free radicals). These combine with oxygen molecules to form ozone. Ozone can be synthesised by an electric discharge through oxygen.

      • (i) O2 = hv => 2O. (ii) O. + O2 ==> O3 

  • Reaction of oxide with water, acids or bases/alkalis: Not applicable.

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • None, but unstable chlorine(I) oxide (chlorine monoxide) can be made indirectly and there are other chlorine oxides. (see chlorine)

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • Slowly hydrolyses to form weak chloric(I) acid.

      • Cl2O(g) + H2O(l) ==> 2HClO(aq)

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • Slightly soluble but no reaction.

  • Other comments:

    • Formed in plant photosynthesis. Consumed in respiration.

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 9 Fluorine F in Group 7/17 The Halogens

  • The structure of the element:

    • Non-metal existing as covalent diatomic molecule, F2, with a single bond.

  • Physical properties

    • Pale yellow gas; mpt -219oC; bpt -188oC;  poor conductor of heat/electricity.

  • Group, electron configuration (and oxidation states)

    • Gp7 Halogen; e.c. 2,7  or 1s22s22p5;  (only -1) e.g. HF, ClF, F2O (O is +2!)

    • An extremely reactive element and readily combines with almost every other element.

  • Reaction of element with oxygen

    • None, but oxygen difluoride, F2O, can be made indirectly.

  • Reaction of oxide with water:

    • The oxide hydrolyses to form hydrofluoric acid and oxygen (it is powerful enough to oxidise water. This is an anomalous reaction for a Group 7 element due to the high oxidising power of oxygen in the +2 state in F2O.

      • F2O(g) + H2O(l) ==> 2HF(aq) + O2(g) 

  • Reaction of oxide with acids:

    • It readily reacts with water as above.

  • Reaction of oxide with bases/alkalis:

    • Presumably fluoride salt is formed and oxygen, as it oxidises water.

  • Reaction of element with chlorine

    • Can combine directly or indirectly to form ClF, ClF3, ClF5 and ClF7.

    • e.g. Cl2(g) + F2(g) ==> 2ClF(g)

  • Reaction of chloride with water:

    • ClFx + H2O => ?

  • Reaction of element with water:

    • Reacts to form hydrofluoric acid and oxygen. This is an anomalous reaction for a Group 7 element due to the high oxidising power of fluorine.

      • 2F2(g) + 2H2O(l) ==> 4HF(aq) + O2(g) 

  • Other comments:

    • -

  • Links to other pages on site

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links


 

Z = 10 Neon Ne in Group 0/18 The Noble Gases


Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Page Index and Links

WHAT NEXT?

See also 5.1 Period 3 survey of elements, 5.2 Period 3 element trends & explanations of physical properties, 5.3 Period 3 element trends in bonding, structure, oxidation state, formulae & reactions, 6.1 Survey of Period 4 elements, 6.2 Period 4 element trends in physical properties, 6.3 Period 4 element trends in bonding, formulae and oxidation state and 6.4 Important element trends down a Group

 INORGANIC Part 4 Period 2 survey sub-index : 4.1 Period 2 survey of the individual elements : 3. lithium : 4. Beryllium : 5. Boron : 6. Carbon : 7. Nitrogen : 8. Oxygen : 9. Fluorine : 10. Neon * 4.2 Period 2 element trends & explanations of physical properties * 4.3 Period 2 element trends in bonding, structure, oxidation state, formulae & reactions

Advanced Level Inorganic Chemistry Periodic Table Index * Part 1 Periodic Table history * Part 2 Electron configurations, spectroscopy, hydrogen spectrum, ionisation energies * Part 3 Period 1 survey H to He * Part 4 Period 2 survey Li to Ne * Part 5 Period 3 survey Na to Ar * Part 6 Period 4 survey K to Kr and important trends down a group * Part 7 s-block Groups 1/2 Alkali Metals/Alkaline Earth Metals * Part 8  p-block Groups 3/13 to 0/18 * Part 9 Group 7/17 The Halogens * Part 10 3d block elements & Transition Metal Series * Part 11 Group & Series data & periodicity plots

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