How to Process Copper Carbonate to Make Copper Sulfate

Written by anthony thompson Google
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How to Process Copper Carbonate to Make Copper Sulfate
Crystals of copper sulphate have a vivid blue colour. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Copper sulphate is a chemical salt most commonly seen in the form of vivid blue crystals. Although toxic, it is regularly used in chemistry education as it is highly reactive with a number of substances. Copper carbonate is the substance responsible for the green tinge on weathered copper, bronze or brass and is used as a pigment in some paints. It can be converted to copper sulphate through the addition of sulphuric acid, producing carbon dioxide and water.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 100ml glass beaker
  • 1 gram copper carbonate
  • 5ml dilute sulphuric acid
  • Glass stirrer

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  1. 1

    Place the copper carbonate in the bottom of the glass beaker.

  2. 2

    Pour the sulphuric acid into the beaker, adding only a few drops at a time and stirring vigorously. The mixture will begin to effervesce as carbon dioxide gas is produced.

  3. 3

    Continue to add the remaining acid and stir the mixture until no more bubbles are being produced. The chemical reaction is now complete and the beaker will contain a clear blue liquid - this is copper sulphate. To grow copper sulphate crystals, simply let the solution evaporate for a few days.

Tips and warnings

  • The chemical equation for the reaction is: H2SO4 + CuCO3 --> CuSO4 + H2O + CO2.
  • Both copper carbonate and copper sulphate are toxic. Wear gloves throughout the process and handle with care.

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