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Copper Sulphate Questions: freezing, density, color, other properties

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Q. Will it hurt to have na 1830 copper sulfateamazoninfo freeze?

Have 55 gallons in my back of my pickup and I have to know where to park it for 9 Months in Minnesota? Thank you

Jon Anderson



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A. I don't know what "na 1830" means, but yes, copper sulphate will crystallize, Jon. But it can be remixed when warmer weather arrives -- although you will probably need a powered drum roller device to do it efficiently.

As for where to park your truck, whether indoors or out, make sure it's within some kind of secondary containment dike since this material is a powerful biocide smiley

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. I have some basic info question about copper sulfate. What is its density? If it is on the copper surface, does it fall off easily? Thanks, Dan

Dan Zhao
- Rochester, Minnesota


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A. Hello Dan. Copper sulphate comes in many forms: pure anhydrous copper sulphate powder, dry hydrated copper sulphate penta-hydrate crystals (bluestone), or liquid copper sulphate (in which case the density would depend on the concentration).

But I suspect you may be thinking about the metallic copper that deposits when you immerse a baser metal into copper sulphate solution. In this case copper (metallic copper) is deposited, not copper sulphate. So the density is the same as any other metallic copper.

Does the copper fall off easily? Well, as long as the base metal is perfectly clean, not really ... but the adhesion isn't equal to electroplated copper.

Sorry, if this wasn't what you were looking for, I probably didn't understand your questions.

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. Dear sir,

I am wondering if you can answer my question. Why is the color of copper sulphate blue?. However, we know that neither copper nor sulphate are blue.

I would be grateful if you can send to me the solution as soon as possible.

Thank you very much.

Yours,

Aysha A.deleted
- UAE


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A. The way it's worded it sounds like you simply posted your homework question, Aysha. If your teacher wanted you to simply be told the answer, s/he would have just told you.

But copper chloride is also the same shade of blue.

Shhh. That was a hint that it's the positively-charged copper ions not the sulphate that gives it the blue color.smiley

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

You can 'search inside' this book at Amazon:

Barron's Chemistry


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Q. The basic solution was sulfuric acid (25% concentration) and the process revolves ... the acid reacts as the foreign material remover from the copper leads ... so the mixture of copper and sulfuric turns it to blue in colour that is the contamination colour...it had been left over night without being circulated. It had hardened or crystallized, which is copper sulphate now. How do I dissolve it ... it's as hard as rock now, and it's been a week in such a condition. How do I dilute it?

thirunyana sambantar
intersil -


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A. Copper sulphate pentahydrate (the blue crystals) are soluble, Mr. Sambantar. But materials like this sometimes settle very tightly, driving the water out.

Regrettably, I don't quite understand what you are saying, but if it is possible to roll this material in a drum roller or shake it in a paint can shaker it should redissolve.

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. Dear sir.....

Okay let me lead you step by step regarding the process we proceed in my company. We deal with semiconductor products so the final process of the production is solder dipping where the IC (integrated circuit) leads are dipped in sulfuric acid (25% concentration) to remove foreign material that would have attached to the leads. The leads are made out of copper. So if I'm not mistaken the results of copper being dipped in sulfuric acid would turn to copper sulphate in contents. The situation is that the solution had been left stored in a container which now had hardened in a form of crystal or salt. the problem is that it had been left to be hard for few days and when we try to dissolve it by adding water it is not diluting.it has been few weeks since the hardening process. It is so hard that it can't be penetrated by the knocking process as well ... please advise on other procedures that can be carried out in solving the problem. And also include the reaction factors and the safety steps such as whether it would create deadly fumes to the air or any combustion, etc. Thank you.

thirunyana sambantar
intersil - Malaysia


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A. Actually, sulfuric acid does not dissolve copper, but it will dissolve copper oxides. So, if you dip copper leads which have oxidized, the sulfuric acid will dissolve those copper oxides to become copper sulphate. It is also possible that your sulfuric acid contained hydrogen peroxide, since peroxide is sometimes added to sulfuric acid to make a "bright dip" or etchant for copper, then it will have the oxidizing power to dissolve copper metal.

Nobody can advise the flammability or explosive potential of a solution which they are not sure the contents of, and which is thousands of miles away. But in general, copper sulphate is not flammable and doesn't fume; and if there is no peroxide or other additives it should not be explosive.

It is fairly common for slurries to "harden". The heavy particles settle, and extrude the water out, and then there is no "room" for the water to get back in to dissolve the solution. I've seen this in various aluminate solutions generated by caustic etching of aluminum, and I've seen it in ceramic-precious metal slurries such as used on catalytic converters. If you stop the agitation, you end up with a hardened 'plaster' in the bottom of the vat even if there is plenty of free water above it.

One way to redissolve it is to continuously "wash off" the top layer of crystals. For example, if you had a bottle of this stuff, it will settle into a rock in the bottom of the bottle, but if you flip that bottle up and down, again and again and again, it gradually reforms into a slurry. If you can get the material into paint cans, a can shaker may dissolve it. If you can get it into drums, a rolling device can probably redissolve it.

Maybe the solution can be continuously recycled through a pump to wash the crystals into solution? That is, put a sump pump with a hose attached into the tank and spray the rock-like areas with the hose until they gradually wash into the solution. This approach, however, may be impractical to do in your situation--sorry, I don't know.

Raising the temperature, if possible, will make a great improvement in the solubility of copper sulphate in any case. So, if it suits your conditions, get the free liquid warm to spray on the block of crystal, then either recirculate until the copper sulphate is dissolved.

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. Right ..... I really need to know what copper sulphate . 5 hydrate is used for ... it's completely confusing me. I've looked on the net ... books ... the lot and yup, I still can't find it. Don't s'pose you could help me out could ya? Cheers.

Catdeleted
- uk


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A. Sounds like a homework assignment, Cat.

What is confusing you? Give us a hint about all the conflicting info you keep reading that is befuddling you, and we'll be happy to sort out what you misunderstood.

Here's what I just did in 4 minutes of research: 2 minutes each in 2 high school chemistry books--

If you really need help, people are very happy to offer it--but c'mon now, are you serious about your efforts when both high school chemistry books I have produce the answer in under 2 minutes? I am almost positive that the answer is in your chemistry book without any need for further research -- just look in the index for copper sulphate or copper sulfate.

On this site you'll see copper sulphate mentioned constantly as a copper plating solution, and also as a root killer. You'll also see that in the old days it had several medicinal uses, which have been outlawed in the USA by the FDA (either out of genuine concern about its safety or because the FDA has been hopelessly corrupted by big pharma which wants inexpensive traditional medicines out of public reach). Good luck, but remember: chemistry book index, not internet :-)

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. At what temperature Copper Sulphate pentahydrate will come out completely as crystalline powder from the solution of Copper sulphate in water? I request you to give the detailed process to manufacture Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate from Copper powder and Copper metallic chips and cathodic plates of copper.

Arvindbhai A. Patel
- Ankleshwar, Gujarat , INDIA


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Q. Why does copper oxide dissolve in dilute sulfuric acid?

Erin Sdeleted
- Australia


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Q. What is another name for Copper Sulphate when it is in it's crystalline form?

Sarah Pdeleted
- Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK


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Sorry, Arvindbhai, the detailed manufacturing process for industrial production of a chemical or an airliner is just not a reasonable question for an internet forum :-)

It would take a book to answer it. But, in general, in addition to sulfuric acid, you either need an oxidizing agent like peroxide to dissolve the copper, or you need to apply electricity to make the copper anodic.

Why do you ask, Erin? Why do you ask, Sarah?

Please see http://www.finishing.com/letters/standards.html#abstract. We don't want students to just post their homework assignment for someone else to do for them, and your teachers keep begging us to "Just tell the students to do their own homework!" We can't tell your situation when you post an abstract question. Thanks.

Sorry, folks, I went 0 for 3 on the last three questions.

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. The company I am in is going into copper technology and I would like to know the effect when copper sulphate appear to on open wafer. Note: recently, I have tested my plant environment and found out that it contains sulphate in the air.

Seng Meng Lim
Semiconductor - Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia


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Q. I want to ask a question about copper sulphate ... is it used as a poison? can a person die after eating it? if yes then in how much time? Please reply to me quickly.

Imtiaz Madni
- Multan, Punjab, Pakistan


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A. Still with us?

Bright Blue crystals not commonly known as a delicacy for human consumption ... can't be good for you!

Download a copy of the health and safety data sheet and take it along with you to the doctor!

Copper sulphate is an emetic so if you have inadvertently eaten a significant amount you have probably been sick!

Richard Mosley
- UK


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Q. Need to DISSOLVE fine metallic copper which is on the surface of a polymeric substrate. Would like a low-cost minimum hazard solution to do this with.

Any suggestions?

Would adding AIR bubbles help to help oxidize the copper?

Stephen Paspek
- Broadview, Ohio


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Q. I am researching the manufacture of Copper Sulphate for a client. From what I have found so far commercial manufacturers keep the process fairly well guarded. Could you please point me in the right direction in terms of literature on design aspects of CuSO4 manufacture?
Thanks

Peter Banovich
- Perth, WA Australia


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Q. My father needs 50 years old (COPPER SULPHATE TRANSPARENT CRYSTAL LUMPS FROM GERMANY).

My father says he get that chemical in India Hyderabad in 1960's, nowadays it's not getting here, I am searching this chemical since 3 years and my father he is searching from 10 years.

At least give me the company name so we contact them.

I hope you help me, waiting for your reply,

M hafeez khan
- Hyderabad, INDIA


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Q. Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate

I have read with interest all the threads on this subject going back to 1999 but have outstanding questions.

I want to "electroplate" (not pen brush) some very small sword fittings - 2-5 sq.inches, with silver and gold. The base metal will be copper. On some items I first have soldering repair work to do.

1. I want to copper plate over the repaired work (including the untouched copper parts) - but I saw a reply from you that said you cannot plate from Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate "onto" copper? Can you explain?

2. Can Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate be used in solution with something other than sulphuric acid - what about a heavy concentration in distilled water?

3. What concentrations could you recommend for either acid or distilled water.

4. Because of the size of the items the "tank" will be very small - little larger than a jam jar.

Ron Stonely
- London, United Kingdom


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A. Ron, the best way to get your items plated is to send them to a plating shop, where craftsmen who have spent years learning this industrial art can deal with the issues. If you don't want to do that, please start by trying to find in a library, or buying second hand, a book or two about electroplating, preferably from our list of "must-have" electroplating books to help you understand the issues. It's hard to compose and transmit the needed info in a paragraph or two unfortunately.

We have an FAQ on line here that teaches school children how to do simple copper plating. The basic concept is dirt easy. But the issue that many readers don't predict is the quantum jump between a school electroplating experiment (which generates a useless, thin, poorly adherent layer of metal solely to demonstrate a principal) and producing a robust, bright, pore-free, quality electroplated coating. It's like building a clay model of a car for the students, and them then asking you for the key so they can take it out on the Autobahn :-)

This is not about secrets, it's about the fact that there is a lot to it -- from removing the oxide, to activating the solder (which requires hydrofluoric acid, a very scary thing) and copper, to buying proprietary addition agents that will allow bright plating, to providing proper agitation, efficient rinsing, tight temperature control, removal of ppm contaminants, and other issues. Then you've got the copper on it, but the subsequent silver or gold plating may diffuse into (alloy with) the copper -- so you really need to plate a barrier layer of nickel or white bronze after the copper but before the silver or gold. All practical silver plating baths are cyanide-based, which is a terrible poison having no place in a non-industrial environment.

Good luck with your learning, but there is a lot to it -- and the need to use such truly hazardous materials as hydrofluoric acid and sodium cyanide means you really need lab training. Good luck.

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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Q. I found an old bottle in a pile of dirt after a rain storm. The bottle appears to be an antique. It is very small with a tight neck. I'm guessing it's medical related...something like an old tonic bottle. Here is my theory in brief: This house belonged to a doctor. There is a very hard "oxidized copper blue" substance in the bottom. I have been trying to scrape it out with great difficulty.
I now believe it is Copper sulphate pentahydrate based on the threads from this page. What kind of products would this compound appear in? Simply, why would this be in this small bottle and what is the best way to get it out, I want to put the bottle in my aquarium without killing my fish. I see that H202 is good at cleaning it b/c it is an oxidizer. How about muriatic acidamazoninfo (HCl)? What is it about these crystals that makes them bound together so tightly?

Mike Williams, Temple Law
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


September 2012

A. Hi Mike. Add warm water, stopper the bottle and shake and shake. The crystal will eventually wash into the water because they are water soluble.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 17, 2008

Q. Hello . . .

I am an artist . . . I used copper sulphate to 'age' zinc sheets. What would be the best clear, 'top coat' material to use? Will an 'NC' lacquer work? I need to have stability of the surface (no further oxidation), good, long-term adhesion, resistance to scratching, and a clear finish.

Many thanks,
BW

Bill Williams
- Carversville, Pennsylvania


July 18, 2008

A. Hi, Bill. This site has 60,000 threads on line, covering every imaginable finishing topic. Many are about lacquering and clear coating of metal working art. Please try searching for "art clear coat copper" and I think you'll find many helpful replies, and threads that are a good foundation to build upon.

For some reason this particular letter has diverged into so many different topics -- containment of hazardous waste, properties of copper sulfate, school homework assignments, metal solutions turning to plaster, industrial methods for manufacturing copper sulphate, air pollution, human copper poisoning, copper plating of swords, and using copper sulphate as pesticide -- that is has become overlong and confusing, and it might be best to not expand it to cover clearcoating of copper :-)

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 6, 2009

Q. Whether the emitted air during and waste materials during copper sulfate manufacturing is harmful to human body (especially to small kids)?

Dinu J.
student - Kerala, India


July 6, 2009

Hi, Dinu. I'm sure your teacher doesn't want you to simply post your homework assignment and have someone else do it for you. But tell us your whole situation, and what specific part of your assignment you are finding difficult to research and we'll try to help. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 20, 2009

Q. If anyone can tell me the chemical method of testing copper sulphate pentahydrate? I need to find out its purity as I have prepared the same from scrap copper.

Jhankar Dongre
- Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


December 14, 2009

A. I am new here but I just read these questions and answers about copper sulphate, I would like to share with you our experience as a copper sulphate company.

We are actually producing 800 Tons per month of Copper sulphate feed grade based on LX, SX and then we expose the solution to high temperature and cool it down in suspension to re-form the crystals and avoid acidity as other processes do to get their crystals by supersaturating with acid. So, in fact, we get a pretty clean copper sulphate, free of dioxine and impurities, especially used by our customers as a feeding supplement for chicken and porks.
To get this product, we have our Lixiviation process that is ALSO fed with an electrolyte solution with a concentration of 50 gr of copper per liter.

Q. But now, we want to avoid this electrolyte and have our copper supply coming from copper scrap. We know little about this process and I would appreciate if you could share with us your knowledge concerning this. If I have a perfect copper scrap in my disposition, what would come next? I appreciate your cooperation with everyone that asks here. I will be waiting for your reply. Thank you very much.

Sebastian Didier
- La Serena, Chile


December , 2009

Hi, Sebastian. I have certain proprietary knowledge on that subject which I am not at liberty to disclose because I was not involved in its development, but I did see it implemented to generate copper plating solution from copper scrap at an installation I was involved with.

So I cannot personally assist you, but hopefully another reader will.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 23, 2011

Q. Hello,
I wanted to ask which is the best commercial method of producing copper sulfate? I have found some methods but can't decide on which one is better.
Whether the smelting of copper or using copper scrap to make copper sulfate or the use of electrochemistry.

Pooja Chari
- Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

August 23, 2011

Hi, Pooja. If you can give us your cost for copper ore, copper scrap, sulfuric acid, and electricity then maybe someone who is intimately familiar with the various processes may be able to help. Sebastian's question, above, may be your answer. Still, I wouldn't choose my business plan based on semi-anonymous internet advice. I think in this case a consultant would be worth 100x whatever he charged you. Best of luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 7, 2012

Q. Can anyone tell me what is the density of liquid Copper Sulfate please?

Arosh Perera
- Colombo, Sri Lanka


September 26, 2012

Q. Respected sir, can you provide some idea regarding extraction process for copper sulphate rather then normal process? Can you tell me the benefit for extraction process over the normal one?

mitul prajapati
chemicals - ankleshawar , gujarat, india

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