Making Basic Copper Sulphate Using Nitric Acid


1. Assemble your safety gear. Nitric acid is considerab […]

1. Assemble your safety gear. Nitric acid is considerably more hazardous than Basic Copper Sulphate(WSDTY), so be very cautious during this experiment. You will need eye protection, acid-resistant gloves, and a lab coat.

2. Find a suitable workspace. Because of the risks involved with using nitric acid, this experiment should only be done in a laboratory setting. As this experiment will put off toxic fumes (NO2 gas), it must be done under a fume hood.

3. Assemble your equipment. You will need a glass beaker or jar to perform the experiment in, a glass measuring cup with milliliter gradations, or a glass eyedropper, and a glass stirring rod or spatula to remove excess copper chunks, and a scale to measure the copper.

4. Assemble your materials. For this, you will need water, nitric acid (70%), and concentrated (98%) sulfuric acid. These can be purchased at a scientific supply company. You will also need a few inches of copper wire, or some chunks of the copper pipe, available at any hardware store.

5. Create an acid solution. First place 30ml of water in the beaker. Then add 5ml of nitric acid and 3ml concentrated sulfuric acid.

6. Add the copper. Carefully drop about 6g of copper wire or metal chunks into the solution. Stand back away from the fumes, and watch the reaction take place. A brown gas will form, bubbles will form as the copper dissolves, and the liquid in the beaker will turn blue. The reaction is complete when the bubbling stops. The gas that results from the reaction is toxic, and should not be inhaled.

7. 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.

8. 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.