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The standard reduction potentials (E$^{\circ}$ ) of the lanthanides for M$^{+3}$ (aq) + 3e$^{-} \overset{\Delta} \rightarrow$ M (s) all fall between –2.52 V (La) and –2.25 V (Lu). This helps explain which of the following properties of Lanthanides?

(1) Lanthanides are good reducing agents (2) Lanthanide contraction (3) Electropositivity of Lanthanide series decreases from La to Lu (4) Lanthanides react rapidly with hot water and slowly with cold water (5) Lanthanides are soft, malleable and ductile
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Answer: (1), (3) and (4)
(1) Lanthanides are good reducing agent
$\quad$ Reducing nature $\propto$ E$^{\circ}$. As they have a high negative value of E$^{\circ}$, they are good reducing agents.
(3) Electropositivity of Lanthanide series decreases from La to Lu
$\quad$ Since Electropositivity is the tendency to lose electrons, and Electropositivity $\propto$ E$^{\circ}$, this value decreases from La to Lu.
(4) Lanthanides react rapidly with hot water and slowly with cold water
$\quad$ Lanthanides liberate H$_2$ due to their high negative E$^{\circ}$.
answered Jan 30, 2014 by sreemathi.v
edited Aug 6, 2014 by balaji.thirumalai
 

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