# making copper sulfate

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I am planning on making some electrolyte solution for an electroplating experinment. I have one question, How can I make copper sulfate, or a sulfate of any metal from simple household items?

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ANY metal will not suffice, it has to be Copper.   dump the acid from a car battery into a large plastic bowl. leave it for an hour for the particulate matter to settle, then pour the liquid throug

yes, put it in a crucible and heat it with a bunsen for a few minutes, itll dehydrate it nicely.

ANY metal will not suffice, it has to be Copper.

dump the acid from a car battery into a large plastic bowl.

leave it for an hour for the particulate matter to settle, then pour the liquid through a large funnel with a coffee filter in it, into a large jar.

then get some copped pipe offcuts from a plumber, or just any old copper thats quite thick that nobody wants and use that instead, whatever.

youll need a car battery charger, clamp one lead onto one copper peice and the other lead onto another copper peice then put them in you jar that contains the filtered acid.

making 100% sure both copper peices DO NOT touch!, you may turn the power on and leave it for a day or 2.

check every now and then that the electrodes havent dissolved.

the liquid will turn Blue

after 2 days disconnect the power, drop the copper electrodes in the jar, put the lid on and leave it for a week.

pour the liquid out after this time into a large based bowl to evaporate the water, the crystals that form will be your copper sulphate

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wot if the electodes do touch

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youll burn a wire or your charger out, eitherway, itll cost you money to replace it!

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Thanks for the info, but

what if I dont have total access to a car battery. Where would I get the sulfuric acid? How much voltage would be needed for the electrodes in the acid? (maybe a substitute for the charger) Plus, do you know of any place where I could get copper sulfate easily (besides a chemist)? Oh, and one more thing, is benedicts solution the same thing as copper sulphate?

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Last weekend I tried to make me some copper sulfate for fun, I have some pictures on my website under the sulfuric acid section.

http://tflex101.home.mchsi.com/

I thought I could just put the copper in the acid and let it dissolve, like iron does in hydrochloric acid, but it actually has to be hot and concentrated in order for it to dissolve. This weekend I plan on boiling the acid down and trying again.

Edit:

I bought my acid at a local ebco battery store here in town. Dunno how rare those are, but it’s a store that sells nothing but batteries: ) If you live in the states you can buy pure copper sulfate at any home depot or Wal-Mart, its sold as a fungicide, should be near the drain cleaners and other chemicals. It should not be that hard to find, if they don’t sell it locally you can buy it online its only around 10 bucks.

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Thanks T_FLeX, I think im going to Wal-Mart so I can just get on with the electroplating.

Thanks again everyone.

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nice purchase!

raw copper wont dissolve very well, even with heating its interminably slow, if you can oxidise the copper somehow, that will be much faster, or electrolyse it.

the fungacide (bordeaux mixture) is an ok source but its impure, so youll need to crystalise it out and wash them in Ice water after.

re the acid though, dont get any on your clothes not even a drop at low concentration, itll come out in holes after you wash them (the wifes nearly killed me a few times for doing that! LOL).

maybe also youde like to take part in the Battery/LED challenge?

youve got all the basic stuff there to make a good cell or 2

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hmmm, well, it is starting to sound easier to make the stuff. Time to go hunting for supplies (its vacation ).

-Thanks again

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YT, guess what...
I tried filling a beaker with vinigar, added some MgSO4 (epsom salts) and sugar. Then, I hooked up two 9 volt batteries in a series circuit (18 volts). I attached copper to the electrodes and bathed them in the vinigar solution for a few hours. The stuff turned a light blue (i think it is copper sulphate!)!!!

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youve contaminated your product a little there.

try it without the sugar (that will play no part in the reaction) and skip the vinigar too.

just use the MgSO4 and the copper electrodes, if turns blue then and it should, youll have made your copper sulphate

when I get 5 mins, Ill do the same experiment with you, we can compare results

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ok, im guessing you mean put the MgSO4 in water and dip the electrodes, well ill try that. (I will use 18 volts of electricity)

PS, i tried electroplating a quarter with the CuSO4 I made, and it pretty much worked, Results:

these may take a lil time to load

http://www.freewebs.com/stevebenay/P1010013.jpg

http://www.freewebs.com/stevebenay/P1010012.jpg

The first one is of the results after plating, the second of dipping the electrodes in the solution i made (the second one was a "staged" shot, it was after some plating was done, just to get the pic of plating the quarter

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thats the one, plain MgSO4 and a pair of copper electrodes, give it a try, it should still "Fizz" and react. if it goes Blue, itll be copper sulphate, there will be a magnesium precipitate however, decant the liquid when the reactions complete and crystalise it

be sure, I shall do the same experiment with you, probably on Monday though.

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so, in other words, i put the Mg salt in a beacker, and put in the electrodes too, and then add liqued, or leave it?

But right now, ill use MgSO4 dissolved in water and plop in the copper electrodes with 18 V

PS, would the vinigar one give off any fumes (Hydrogen gas) and would the MgSO4 one give off any harmful fumes too.

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listen up, dissolve your MgSO4 in warm water from the kettle, Ide reccomend off the top of my head about 4 T spoons into 250 ml (a cup full) of warm water.

then youll need 2 copper electrodes, one goes to the pos the other to the neg, imerse them in your solution and wait

totaly forget about the sugar thing, it doesnt even conduct!

and the vinigar MAY cause acetates as side reactions, so skip using that too.

MgSO4 conducts quite well in sollution, you need nothing else, keep your experiment clean and simple, later on afterwards try adding other stuff and see what happens, but you need a simple plain reaction by which to compare your results

dont over complicate things just yet

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ok YT, I have not quite done the "new" copper sulphate "recipe", but i also have thaught of a new solution. For ZINC plating, what common easy to find subtances could i use to make a zinc electrolyte solution. I am trying to dissolve zinc into vinegar (i think that may do it) right now. Then i will add 100 grams per ml of MgSO4 epsom salt. The zinc is bubbling a tiny bit. Any suggestions? Should I attach the zinc to an electrode and dissolve it in the vinegar that way, but then i should use water?

I will be starting the other copper sulphate experiment shortly.

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dont bother with vinigar at all, its useless as a metal acetate.

kill the vinigar idea altogether PLEASE! youre just wasting good chems and battery power.

you need an inorganic acid idealy, 1stly make your CuSO4 and from there we can make zinc sulphate buy a simple replacement reaction

then youll have 2 plating solutions

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YT, i have started to make the CuSO4, with MgSO4 disolved in warm water, 100g/l of the salt, and i am pushing 18 volts through it. the solution in the beaker is definately turning blue, but it is milky, is that normal because of the Mg salt in it? There seems to be a litle bit of stuff building up on the water surface. (this was nice and clear and blue with vinegar, lol). But anyway, is this normal, and what should i do next? WOW, update on this one, there seems to be some blue crystals building up on the negative electrode, are these CuSO4 crystals?

update time="3:54PM eastern US": There was not much of anything accumulating at the water surface, it was just fiz. There are still crystals though, and the power is still runing.

UPDATE 2 TIME="5:06 PM eastern US NY": The solution is very blue, and there is much accumulateing on the bottom of the beaker.

What should I do to the solution now, should I bottle it and use it, or should I evaporate it, and use the crystals, detailed advice please?

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There is much of a think substance on the bottom of my CuSO4 beaker i have been working on today, what should be done to it next

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YT, I kinda need some help, I let the new solution (made with MgSO4 and Cu dissolved with electrical charge) sit over night, and there seems to be a thick blueish substence that accumulated on the bottom of the beaker. Is this the copper sulphate we have been waiting for, if so, how do i extract the sopper sulfate from this dirty solution????

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a coffee filter in a funnel, the gloop at the bottom will ber magnesium hydroxide more than likely, get rid of it quickly as it may reverse your reaction, filter it

sok, Ive just got back in from some outdoor work, been away almost all day, but 2moro should be nice and quiet, Ill start mine off then

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Well, it did not excactly turn out how i wanted it. It was a reddish solution. But, however, the good news is that the first solution i made, with vinegar, salt and a little bit of sugar turned out to work VERY well in an electroplating experiment. So, I was able to easily plate a quarter with copper within a minut or so. I also threw a sanded down penny into some vinegar, and did electroplating on to a copper penny with that. The plating was slower, but the plating worked with a shiny silver plate in about 5 minuts! Would my blue solution in vinegar be CuSO4 or is it CopperAcetate???? And is my zinc in vinegar ZincAcetate?????? or sulfate??

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well, let me start from the top, Ive replicated your experiment here (been running now for about 3 hours) youre quite right, it is an interesting looking Gloop

sort of a light blue color and a bit like gell.

Im also running at 18 volts DC (like your 2 x 9v batts). Ill filter it a little bit later on also. from my observations so far, it has made magnesium hydroxide and copper sulphate, HOWEVER... they seem to displace each other within seconds leaving copper hydroxide (thats not a bad chem to keep!). when I filter it, Ill keep the paper and contents, wash it clean water several times and dry it, the color should be a dead giveaway as to what it contains, as will the filtered liquid, Ill evaporate that and look for crystals, then Ill get them under the microscope and we can compare results

copper and vinigar electrolysed will make copper acetate for sure

leave the sugar out though, its a useless componant

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Hmmmm, well if you dont mind me asking, what is CopperHydroxide good for, what are its uses?

And to extract it, I would filter it, then let the liquid evaporate and the crystals would be my Copper Hydroxide? (chemistry is only a hobby to me, for I am only a freshman taking advanced placement cources, I have much of an ignorence in chemistry

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no no

the stuff left in the filter paper maybe the copper hydroxide.

as for its uses, itll dissolve quite well in many acids, youll not need a battery to do it from raw copper

the liquid, as yet Ive not filtered mine, Ill do that in just under 2 hours (4pm GMT).

but be sure, Im with ya all the way, lets see what this junk makes

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