Basic Copper Sulphate is usually encountered as a blue […]
Basic Copper Sulphate is usually encountered as a blue liquid solution, or in blue crystalline form, and is often used in chemistry classes because it is relatively simple to make, and it can be used to demonstrate many interesting reactions, and grow beautiful blue crystals. Copper sulfate also has many practical uses in agriculture, pool maintenance, and the arts and can be readily purchased at many online retailers for these applications. You can make copper sulfate at home or in the classroom in a number of ways. Just remember that copper sulfate is a skin irritant that is toxic if ingested. Use caution and appropriate safety gear when handling chemicals, and dispose of them carefully after your experiment.
1. Assemble your safety gear. You will need eye protection, a lab coat or heavy long sleeve shirt to protect yourself from splashes, and acid-resistant (latex or nitrile) gloves. You should also keep a box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) on hand to neutralize any acid spills.
Sulfuric acid is highly corrosive. Be careful not to spill or splash it. If you get sulfuric acid on your skin, immediately flush your skin with soap and cool water for at least 15 minutes, and seek medical attention. If you splash sulfuric acid in your eyes, flush your eyes for at least 30 minutes with cool water and seek medical attention. WEAR GOGGLES to prevent this from happening! If you spill acid on a surface, cover the spill with baking soda. Wait for the bubbling to stop. Then carefully wipe up all affected surfaces with a sponge or paper towels, and wash all of the material collected down the sink with plenty of water.
2. Assemble your equipment. You will need a glass beaker or jar to perform the experiment in, and a glass measuring cup with milliliter gradations, or a glass eyedropper. You may also need a glass stir stick or spatula for retrieving excess copper pieces from the solution, and a scale to weigh the copper. Do not use metal or plastic measuring spoons, as they will react with the acid.
3. Find a suitable workspace. This experiment will put off hydrogen (h2) gas, which is extremely combustible, and should only be done outdoors or under a laboratory vent hood, away from any open flames or ignition sources. You should also set up your experiment on an acid resistant surface, preferably one that is glass, or specific chemical resistant.
If you don't have a chemical-resistant surface to work on, you should at least put a sheet of thick cardboard under your work area. The sulfuric acid will dissolve the cardboard, but slowly enough that you can neutralize the spill with baking soda before it eats clear through.