What type of reaction is Zn + CuCl_2 -> Cu + ZnCl_2?

Apr 22, 2016

This is a redox reaction in which the oxidation states of the metals clearly change.

Explanation:

Zinc metal is oxidized to $Z {n}^{2 +}$, whereas $C {u}^{2 +}$ (as cupric chloride) is reduced to copper metal.

We can write the individual redox equations:

$C {u}^{2 +} + 2 {e}^{-} \rightarrow C u \left(s\right)$

$Z n \left(s\right) \rightarrow Z {n}^{2 +} + 2 {e}^{-}$

A zinc electrode placed in a blue solution of $C {u}^{2 +} \left(a q\right)$ would rapidly acquire a copper coating, meanwhile the colour of the solution would fade as the copper precipitates.