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Theophrastus

An interesting thought...

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Reading over an old thread, I found a fact that I haven't really thought of juxtaposing in to my vast array of ideas for synthesis experiments. Knowing that hydrogen is more active a "metal" than copper, could one not perform a displacement reaction forming sulphuric acid, by bubbling hydrogen gas, in a solution of copper sulfate, the result would then be sulfuric acid (as I before mentioned) and a copper precipitate. Would such a process work? In theory yes, but I have several doubts due to practical issues such as hydrogens lightness. Thoughts?

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i was recently thinking something similar, except adding hydrochloric acid instead of hydrogen... then its just a double substitution reaction.

 

except you might not be able to get a precipitate.

Edited by max.yevs

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The hydrogen would have to be reacted with something like platinum to make it reactive if im not mistaken. There is also a light frequency that will break the bond also so it may be worth a look to see what frequency its at. I have it somewhere but its to late to look. Ill check back tommorow.

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The hydrogen would have to be reacted with something like platinum to make it reactive if im not mistaken. There is also a light frequency that will break the bond also so it may be worth a look to see what frequency its at. I have it somewhere but its to late to look. Ill check back tommorow.

 

for plain hydrogen? The energy is well above visible light and will rip apart all sorts of bonds, not just hydrogen. precious metal catalysts are useful for catalytic hydrogenation. I suspect you make something more along the lines of a mess or poisoned catalyst if you put it in a metal salt solution.

 

As was said, simple bubbling will not achieve your desired reduction, nor will any easy method in aqueous solution. You're better off using another metal or something like hydrazine to reduce the copper. Alternatively, you precipitate copper hydroxide, roast to the oxide, and heat that in a hydrogen atmosphere to make copper powder. The real question is, why bother. Electrolysis readily plates copper sponge onto the cathode, and bright copper if the solution is acidic and contains appropriate levelling agents. I'm under the impression that you were after H2SO4 though, in which case, give up. If it were that simple, it would be widely known.

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Good point on that last bit UC! I've got to admit that the fact did strike me, though I still decided to give it a go. I'm actually interested how this may have been done in the past, as hundreds of years ago, a spanish alchemist, with quite limited resources might I add, Jabir (actually, this was only an alias he used), distilled it for the first time, by some strange means. Probably not ethical by todays standards, most likely, but I am curious... how was it done in the past. Personally, I'm going to try bubbling SO2 through 3% peroxide, then boiling the solution down, to a more feasible 10- 15% concentration of acid. (the boiling shall also decompose any remaining peroxide)

 

Note: (courtesy of the hazmat policy) SO2 is a poisonous gas, and all apparatus used for such an experiment must be tested to leaks prior to its execution.

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make sure to tell us your results! sulfuric acid might be present in small concentrations in nature, i.e. hot volcano springs, i remember once someone went into one and their gold necklace completely discolored and corroded. (and gold is hard to corrode)

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that`ll be traces of dissolved H2S and polysulphides, creating a Gold sulphide layer, it`s used in photography all the while, mostly with Silver to create the Sepia effect.

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Hmm... sometimes I collect copper sulfate crystals in mines... and if you get it on your bare skin it reacts with your sweat to make sulfuric acid... I know this for sure because it itches and burns really badly and its a pain in the ass. What could be in the sweat that is causing the reaction? Maybe this could be utilized.

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copper sulfate is also enormously toxic.

 

I'm not sure if it's sulfuric acid that's forming... perhaps it was already there? sulfuric acid, once dissociated has essentially no desire to re-form

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I agree with hermanntrude, as if the copper sulfate reacted with water, there would be no such a thing as an aqueous copper sulfate solution; which of course there is. (Sulfuric acid isn't blue.) In regards to the experiment, I've decided to go with, I ought to be able to perform it this weekend, implying that I'll be able to buy some more denatured alcohol, for my burner, soon. I'll post the results on this thread for your(plural) benefit. Thanks for all the input! Cheers!

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