# Reaction between copper and silver(I) nitrate in aqueous medium

What is the reaction between $$\ce{Cu}$$ and $$\ce{AgNO3}$$ taking place in aqueous medium?

"Only" oxidation of $$\ce{Cu}.$$

My concern is: how is only oxidation of $$\ce{Cu}$$ happening, as redox will occur in pair?

So either $$\ce{Ag}$$ will reduce, or $$\ce{NO3-}$$ will. But, since $$\ce{Ag}$$ has higher reduction potential, it won't. What will happen?

What does $$\ce{NO3-}$$ reduce into, if it does at all?

• Why, according to the corresponding SEPs the reaction $$\ce{Cu(s) + 2 AgNO3(aq) → Cu(NO3)2(aq) + 2 Ag(s)}$$ is plausible and in fact takes place (sometimes called a "snowy tree" reaction). However, you are correct, the given answer makes no sense. – andselisk Jun 15 at 16:32
• @andselisk Sorry , I got confused with SEP of Ag and Cu, You are right , Thanks a lot :-) – RandomAspirant Jun 15 at 16:39
• Nothing happens to nitrate (N is already fully oxidized) and you should try quite hard to get it reduced under those conditions. – andselisk Jun 15 at 16:56
• @user232243 No prob, keep in mind you can answer your own question (feel free to use my comment as a starting point, no need to cite me though) if you understand it now. – andselisk Jun 15 at 17:07
• Based on what I have directly observed, when I did it, if you use Zn instead of Cu, $Ag^+$ is reduced to silver metal (but no beautiful silver tree is formed), the solution heats up very noticibly, depending on quantities used, and you also get some reduction of nitrate ion to the very easily noticeable red-brown $NO_2$ gas. – Ed V Jun 15 at 17:08