Rend., 1869, 69, p. 169) obtained the sodium salt by the action of zinc on a concentrated solution of sodium bisulphite: Zn + 4NaHSO 3 = Na 2 S 2 O 4 + ZnSO 3 + Na 2 SO 3 + 2H 2 O, the salt being separated from the sulphites formed by fractional precipitation.
Thus if concentrated instead of dilute sulphuric acid acts upon zinc, the action takes place to a great extent not according to the equation given above, but according to the equation Zn +2H 2 SO 4 = ZnS04+S02+2 H20, sulphur dioxide and water being produced instead of hydrogen.
The metals may be arranged in a series according to their power of displacing one another in salt solutions, thus Cs, Rb, K, Na, Mg, Al, Mn, Zn, Cd, Tl, Fe, Co, Ni, Sn, Pb, (H), Sb, Bi, As, Cu, Hg, Ag, Pd, Pt, Au.
Group II.: the alkaline earth metals Ca, Sr, Ba, and also Be (GI), Mg, Zn, Cd, divalent; Hg, monovalent and divalent.
Ca, Ba, Sr, Pb; Fe, Zn, Mn, Mg; Ni, Co, Cu; Ce, La, Di, Er, Y, Ca; Cu, Hg, Pb; Cd, Be, In, Zn; Tl, Pb.