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Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Making the Transition to University Chemistry

Michael Clugston, Malcolm Stewart, and Fabrice Birembaut
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date: 14 July 2024

p. 135 Chapter 15 Transition Metals 2locked

p. 135 Chapter 15 Transition Metals 2locked

  • Michael Clugston, Michael Clugstonformerly Tonbridge School
  • Malcolm StewartMalcolm StewartUniversity of Oxford
  •  and Fabrice BirembautFabrice BirembautCaen, France


This chapter focuses on the first row of transition metals ranging from tin to copper. It clarifies how scandium and zinc are not transition metals due to their oxidation states and d subshells. The group has d-block elements with at least one stable ion that has a partially-filled d subshell. Transition metals showcase variable oxidation states. An acidic solution with a reductant can reduce a transition metal ion, while an alkaline solution with an oxidant could oxidize a transition metal. The stability of the high oxidation states can be significantly increased in alkaline solutions. The chapter also notes how transition metals are often used as catalysts.

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