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What Is Displacement In Chemistry? 

A displacement reaction is a reaction where a part of the reactant replaces another reactant. It is also known as the metathesis or replacement reaction. 

The displacement reactions involve metal and a compound of a different metal. Talking about it, in a displacement reaction, “A more reactive metal will displace a less reactive metal from its compounds.” 

A displacement reaction is easily seen when the salt of less reactive metal is in the solution. During the reaction, the more reactive metal gradually disappears as it forms a solution, whereas the less reactive metal coats the surface of the more reactive metal. 

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There are two types of displacement reactions. 

1. Single Displacement Reaction

 A single displacement reaction is one where one reactant replaces the part of another reactant. In short, it follows the below-mentioned mechanism: 

AB + C  AC + B 


Fe + CuSO4           FeSO4 + Cu 

2. Double Displacement Reaction

Double Displacement reactions are the ones where the anions and cations in the reactants switch their partners to produce the products. It follows the below-mentioned mechanism: 

AB + CD    AD + CB 


AgNO3 + NaCl  AgCl + NaNO3 

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 For instance, let us consider the two metals, magnesium and copper, as we know that magnesium is more reactive than copper. 

When a piece of magnesium is dipped into a copper sulfate solution, the blue colour lightens due to the formation of colorless magnesium sulfate solution, and the brown copper coats the magnesium surface.  

What is displacement in chemistry


The equation for this can be as follow: 

Magnesium + Copper Sulfate Solution   Magnesium Sulfate + Copper 

Mg   +    CuSO4 MgSO4      +    Cu 

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