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What is the sodium doing in my copper plating experiment?





June 24, 2010

ok we are doing this 5-day chemical reaction project.

We put copper sulfate in a test tube, with an iron nail, paper, sodium chloride and water.

Copper started forming on the bottom. the nail turning red brown. but I don't know what the sodium is doing

Gabriel S
student - Ottumwa, Iowa



June , 2010

Hi, Gabriel. The sodium probably isn't doing anything of importance. You could demonstrate that, if you are interested, by substituting potassium chloride and/or calcium chloride for the sodium chloride. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey



June 28, 2010

Hello, Gabriel. Chemists have common terms that they use to refer to ions that don't participate in the reaction of interest. They usually call them "spectator ions" or "bystander ions".

Jon Barrows
Jon Barrows, MSF, EHSSC
GOAD Company
supporting advertiser
Independence, Missouri
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