91AE: Uranium hexafluoride, UF6, is processed to produce fuel for nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. UF6 is made from the reaction of elemental uranium with CIF3, which also produces CI2 as a by-product. (a) Write the balanced molecular equation for the conversion of U and CIF3 into UF6 and CI2. (b) Is this a metathesis reaction? (c) Is this a redox reaction?
Solution: Here, we are going to write the balanced molecular equation for the given reaction and identify whether it is a metathesis or redox reaction. Step1: a) The balanced molecular equation for the conversion of U and CIF3 into UF6 and CI2 is given below: U + 2ClF -3 ---> UF + C6 2 ------(1) Step2: b) Metathesis reactions are the reactions in which cations and anions exchange their partners. Example: NaCl(aq) + AgNO (aq) --3--> AgCl(s) + NaNO (aq) 3 Since, in the above equation(1), no such exchange occurs, so it is not a metathesis reaction. Step3: c) Redox reactions are the reactions which involve both oxidation and reduction. In the above equation (1), Uranium undergoes oxidation(oxidation number increases from 0 to +6) whereas chlorine undergoes reduction(oxidation number decreases from +3 to 0). Hence, it is a redox reaction. ----------------