Potassium ions (K^+#) have a positive charge. What happens to a potassium atom's electrons when it becomes an ion?

1 Answer
Jan 26, 2017

Answer:

Well, usually they have caused a reduction in another reagent.

Explanation:

We drop a (small!) chunk of potassium in water, and some of the water is reduced to dihydrogen. And we can represent by a pair of redox rxns:

#K(s) rarr K^(+) + e^-#; #"oxidation"#

#H_2O(l) + e^(-) rarr 1/2H_2 + HO^-#; #"reduction"#

Overall,

#K(s) + H_2O(l) rarr KOH(aq) + 1/2H_2(g)#

In a teaching lab, it is better to use lithium or sodium to demonstrate this reaction. Potassium gives a lot of spritz and sparx.........