The Reaction of Calcium and Water


Not all metals react quite as violently with water as lithium, sodium and potassium do. The reaction of calcium is one such example of a metal that will react with water, but is gentle enough to be done on a laboratory bench. It still follows the same general reaction as the alkali metals though.


Assemble a beaker of water, a test tube full of water and a glass funnel in the following manner-

Then add a few small pieces of calcium metal (note the appearance of the calcium) to the bottom of the beaker and quickly cover it with the upside down funnel.

Note all observations as they occur in the beaker.

Collect any gas given off during the reaction in the test tube, and perform a suitable test to establish what it is.

At the end of the reaction add a few drops of litmus solution, or test with a piece of indicator paper, to establish the nature of the water solution.


1 What gas does the reaction produce?

2 Is the water solution an acid or a base?

3 Write a word equation for this reaction.

4 Write a formula equation for the reaction (N.B.: Ask if there are any formulae you do not know).