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.
4. Assemble your materials. For this, you will need 30% hydrogen peroxide, and concentrated (98%) sulfuric acid. Both of these can be purchased at a scientific supply company, although the hydrogen peroxide can also be ordered from major online retailers. You will also need a few inches of copper wire, or some chunks of copper pipe, available at any hardware store.
5. Create an acid solution. Place 10ml 30% hydrogen peroxide in a beaker. Then add 3ml concentrated sulfuric acid. This is called "Piranha solution" and will heat up quickly, so be extremely careful. Never attempt to cover a beaker or vessel containing Piranha solution; it can explode.
6. Add the copper. Carefully place about 3g of copper wire or metal chunks into the solution. Do not use pennies for this experiment, as they contain a lot of metals besides copper and may cause unexpected reactions.
7. Watch the reaction take place. Bubbles will begin to form around the copper, and the clear liquid in the jar will begin to turn blue. Leave the copper in the solution until the bubbles stop forming. This can take several minutes, depending on the temperature and concentration of your solution. Carefully lift out any remaining copper with a glass spatula or stirring rod. You should now be left with an aqueous copper sulfate solution.
8. Let the solution evaporate. If you wish to collect the copper sulfate crystals, pour the copper sulfate solution into a shallow glass dish and leave it exposed to air for several days while the remaining liquid evaporates. Remember that the solution is still caustic, and use care in handling it. You can then use your copper sulfate crystals in various experiments, or to grow larger crystals.
9. Dispose of excess copper sulfate solution correctly. Copper sulfate is toxic to fish, plants, and other wildlife and should not be poured into lakes or streams, or rinsed down the storm drain. Copper sulfate is a common ingredient in many drain cleaners, and small quantities, like what this experiment will yield, can be safely diluted with water and rinsed down the sink.