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- Describe the transition elements as a collection of metals having high densities, high melting points and forming coloured compounds, and which, as elements and compounds, often act as catalysts.
The yellow block of metals shown above are called transition metals. Copper, iron, zinc, nickel are all transition metals. They:
- have very high melting and boiling points.
- have very high densities
- are stronger and harder than group I metals
- have more than one oxidation state: they have variable valency. Iron, for example, can form iron(II) ions (Fe2+) or iron(III) ions (Fe3+).
- form coloured compounds. example: iron (III) salts are light green and iron (II) salts are yellow or brown
- form complex ions. example: coppper forms a very complex ion with ammonia
- act as good catalysts. Iron is used to speed up the production of ammonia and vanadium oxide is used to speed up the manufacture of sulfuric acid
- are less reactive than metals from other groups. They do not react with water.
Notes submitted by Lintha
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