Single Displacement Reaction with HCL and Aluminum


In this experiment, we will show case another very fast reaction where Hydrochloric acid reacts with Aluminum foils creating Aluminum Chloride and releasing hydrogen gas.

Difficulty: Do it outdoors with adult supervision, handle the acid caution. Gloves and goggles are mandatory like all experiments. Easy experiment to conduct


  1. Hydrochloric acid(HCL) diluted at 31% (Muriatic acid) : 50 ml

  2. Aluminum foil: 1 gram

  3. An Erlenmeyer flask


  1. Add 50 ml of Hydrochloric acid to the Erlenmeyer flask very carefully

  2. Tearing the Aluminum foils into smaller pieces and make small balls

  3. Drop the Aluminum foil balls into the flask

  4. Stand back and watch the reaction unfold. Don't try to touch the flask, it will be very hot from the exothermic reaction

How It Works:

Hydrochloric acid reacts with Aluminum producing Aluminum Chloride and releasing hydrogen gas. The reaction is as follows

This is also an example of a displacement reaction. Aluminum displaces the hydrogen in hydrochloric acid creating Aluminum chloride.

Aluminum chloride is a widely used commercial product, it is a key ingredient in anti perspirants. The reaction described above is one of the commercial ways of making Aluminum Chloride

This reaction is highly exothermic and the water is converted into steam that is released along with hydrogen.

The reaction takes a few seconds to start because Aluminum foil has a small coating of Aluminum oxide on it and it takes a few seconds for the Aluminum oxide to dissolve in the acid to expose the Aluminum metal

Here is a video of this reaction

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