-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

on this site
current topics

60,000 Q&A topics -- Education, Aloha, & Fun

topic 17067

Scientific [chemical] reaction of hydrochloric acid and copper


I'd like to explain, to a 6th grade class, what is going on when we rub hydrochloric acid over their copper rubbings. Thank you for your help.

Joan Russell
- Bellevue, Washington


I don't know quite what a "copper rubbing" is or what happens to it. In theory, though, hydrochloric acid does not dissolve copper but it does dissolve copper oxides.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 29, 2009

We have been doing descaling of copper shell and tube condensers with hydrochloric acid. what will be the reaction copper tubes? advise what precautions should be taken

end user - gurgaon haryana india

August 31, 2009

Hi, Raj. The reaction is actually pretty simple: HCl acid dissolves copper II oxide --

CuO + 2 HCl => CuCl2 + H2O

But as for "what precautions should be taken", sorry, but there is no way to answer that loaded question in the abstract. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

February 8, 2011

Our condenser tube material is Copper; it is choked by strong Ca and silica. Very hard scale.
We were trying to clean it by Hydrochloric Acid, but only 10% was removed. Can I use Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) to remove this strong silica scale?

Anwar Hossain
- Dhaka, Bangladesh

February 8, 2011

Hi, Anwar. HF should be strong enough to dissolve silica scales BUT if you have to ask, you may not have had sufficient training. HF is horrendously dangerous. Don't even touch it if you have not had hands-on training in its application. It is deadly; it attacks bones so painfully that you may wish you were dead; and it can anesthetize early on so you are unaware that you have been exposed. Among other issues, dangerous amounts of CO2 gas may be produced, causing expulsion of the acid at unexpected time or in unexpected direction.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

adv.   accurate anodizing banner   

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental Compliance

©1995-2020, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.