How do bases react with metals?

1 Answer


Depends on the metal.


Most metals will not react with bases. But others, called amphoteric metals, may form salts with them.

Example :
Aluminium will form a salt with acids, like:
#Al+3HCl->AlCl_3+1.5H_2# (aluminium chloride)
Or #Al+3H^+ ->Al^(3+) +1.5H_2#

But also with a base, like:
#Al+3NaOH->Na_3AlO_3+1.5H_2# (sodium aluminate)
Or #Al+3OH^(-) ->AlO_3^(3-)+1.5H_2#

(I know I should have multiplied the whole equation by 2 to get rid of the 1.5, but the #H_2# is not important for the story).

Whether or not a metal is amphoteric depends on its place in the periodic system.