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Well, back in high school, my friends and I set up an electrolysis machine (for lack of a better phrase) to produce hydrogen and oxygen. It used DC current, saturated magnesium sulphate solution, and copper electrodes. The oxygen rapidly corroded the copper electrodes (which we just replaced, since copper was fairly cheap) to form copper hydroxide that collected on the bottom of the tank.


It's one way you could get to copper sulphate, and you get a nifty supply of hydrogen while you're at it.

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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, it`ll dehydrate it nicely.

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate heptahydrate... Is there a way to break the bonds between the 7H2O and the MgSO4 to create Magnesium Sulfate.


Also I have replicated the epsom salt copper experiment, what should I do with the copper hydroxide to use it while plating, or should I just turn it into copper oxide.


Also how complicated is Nickel plating?

Edited by Redcanary
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lol I started learning this stuff a week or two ago... I'm a fast learner but...


can you give me an idiot proof explanation of the crucible and bunson thing.


I am also limited to blade smithing equipment (forge torch etc) and house hold equipment.




** interesting revelation on the epsom experiment...

I filtered the liquid and am dehydrating the goop. I put the liquid back into the electrolysis jar and left it for another 8 hours, on top of more copper hydroxide I got a bulbous black mass on the anode ... copper oxide I presume? Other than thermite what might it be good for?

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IIRC you`ll need Nickel Sulphamate for plating in Nickel.

I`m not sure where you would buy it, but it`s fairly easy to make, by dissolving Ni in Nitric acid (use Dilute acid as conc acid doesn`t work well at all), then ppt out the Ni as a hydroxide, then redissolve this in sulphamic acid.


be careful though, I`m fairly sure Ni salts are carcinogenic, a bit like Chromium salts.

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  • 2 months later...

I got one, it fair easy! And you can try it without Sulfuric Acid, i don't know how effective it will be without it tho, maybe something to try.


Ok, so main thing you need is Copper Oxychloride [CuO.CuCl2] (50-100%, the purer the better - can get as a pale blue/green pestiside dust from hardware, nursery, etc).


Next dissolve 2 spoons or so into HOT WATER. Mix it around a bit. Now I add a dash or so of 90% sulfuric acid* (because the water is hot it can bubble and splatter, but I haven't had any massive issues with it). Then i leave it for a couple of days, this leaves it time so the water can evaporate and the CuSO4.5H2O recrystallises as large blue "rocks" so to speak**. They can then be washed and dissolved into de-ionised water or whatever. A powdery green/yellow precipitate will be left behind with the left-over solution, im not sure what it is, but can be discarded into bin once filtered off.


*If you can't get H2SO4, you could possibly use NaHSO4, the only problem is that maybe Cu(HSO4)2 could form?? or Na+ ions will contaminate your crystals? I havent tried it.


**If you try to force precipitation (by adding alchohol) then the tiny crystals formed will become tedious to seperate from the precipitate formed.

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  • 2 months later...

Thinking, it would better my opportunity for an answer, I decided to continue, one of my questions, here, as it seems vaguely relevant to this post, which while old, at a time was discussing the electrolysis of copper, and various possible products and bi- products that could be made as a result.

Not long ago, I was conducting a simple electrolysis experiment, performing electrolysis of water, using a voltage of approximately 13- 15 volts, in a saturated aqueous salt solution. I chose to use a magnesium anode, and a copper cathode, to my surprise, a substance, faintly green in colouration, began to rise from one of the electrodes.

Fearing this was chlorine, I quickly disbanded this setup, building a different one, in which the reaction would take place in an erlenmeyer flask, with a holed stopper. Through the hole in the stopper, I placed a curved glass tube, which would release any gases made in the reaction, into a separate vessel. The wires connecting to the cathode and anode, were also inserted into the hole.

Soon, the reaction ensued, as a stream of bubbles vigorously rose from the anode. As time passed by, I quickly watched the solution change colour from a pale green- yellow, to a soft golden yellow.

However, upon my return to the room, the next time, the solution had become discolored and opaque, due to the presence of a dark brown precipitate. I waited a while for the solution to settle, to find two precipitates of varying density, layered upon each other, at the bottom of the flask. The lower one was a dark black- brown, while the upper one a dull, pale orange. What could have gone wrong? What are these precipitates? Can they be of any use? Help with these questions would be most appreciated! I would have dried the precipitates, and made a photograph, to show, however, having two distinctly different precipitates, seems to complicate matters. How can I remove these two precipitates from the solution separately, withy no knowledge of their chemical formula?




ps: In retrospect, I believe that the black substance, may be copper (II) oxide, from the anode (2Cu(II) + O2 > 2Cu(II) O), however I am unsure, and uncertain. Any ideas???

Edited by Theophrastus
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my favorite way to make a sulfate-


buy some potassium/sodium/ammonium persulfate powder online or at an electronics store.


Put it in water, and add copper (or any other metal for that matter)...


It will donate a sulfate radical to anything.

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right except is ammonium more reactive then copper? if copper generally cant replace hydrogen, it probably cant replace ammonium


what i was thinking works more like this

(NH4)2S2O8 + Cu > (NH4)2SO4 + CuSO4


and i got to stop citing persulfates all the time :P

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