How to make copper sulfate

This is an easy way to produce copper sulfate either at home, at school or in a laboratory.

Please note: As you will be working with hot water it is important that children are supervised at all times.

Ingredients needed to make your own copper sulfate crystals:

  • Copper carbonate or black copper oxide
  • Sulfuric acid
  • a clean beaker
  • A conical flask
  • A glass rod
  • A tripod
  • an evaporating dish
  • Gauze
  • Filter paper
  • A funnel
  • goggles
  • Gloves

Instructions on how to make copper sulfate:

  • Using gloves and goggles add sulfuric acid to copper carbonate or copper oxide until no more dissolves.
  • You will know when you have added enough as no more gas will be produced.
  • Filter the solution through the filter paper in a funnel onto an evaporating dish.
  • Heat the solution gently over a bunsen burner until most of the solution has evaporated and allow to cool.
  • crystals of copper sulfate will start to form on the dish.

Notes:

Always wear appropriate personal protection equipment when handling sulfuric acid as it is very corrosive.

Where to buy quality Copper Sulfate

Where to buy copper carbonate

Where to buy copper oxide black

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How to make copper sulphate

This is an easy way to produce copper sulphate either at home, at school or in a laboratory.

Please note: As you will be working with hot water it is important that children are supervised at all times.

Ingredients needed to make your own copper sulphate crystals:

  • Copper carbonate or black copper oxide
  • Sulphuric acid
  • a clean beaker
  • A conical flask
  • A glass rod
  • A tripod
  • an evaporating dish
  • Gauze
  • Filter paper
  • A funnel
  • goggles
  • Gloves

Instructions on how to make copper sulphate:

  • Using gloves and goggles add sulphuric acid to copper carbonate or copper oxide until no more dissolves.
  • You will know when you have added enough as no more gas will be produced.
  • Filter the solution through the filter paper in a funnel onto an evaporating dish.
  • Heat the solution gently over a bunsen burner until most of the solution has evaporated and allow to cool.
  • crystals of copper sulphate will start to form on the dish.

Notes:

Always wear appropriate personal protection equipment when handling sulphuric acid as it is very corrosive.

Where to buy quality Copper Sulphate

Where to buy copper carbonate

Where to buy copper oxide black

How to make Bordeaux Mixture with Copper Sulphate and Hydrated Lime

Copper sulphate Pentahydrate

calcium hydroxide

Copper(II) sulfate (CuSO4), is a common salt of copper. Copper sulfate exists as a series of compounds that differ in their degree of hydration. The anhydrous form is a pale green or gray-white powder, while the hydrated form is bright blue. The archaic name for copper(II) sulfate is “blue vitriol” or “bluestone”. The most common form of copper sulphate is in the pentahydrate form and there are over 100 manufacturers producing around 200,000 tonnes per annum. Approximately three-quarters of copper sulphate pentahydrate is used in agriculture, principally as a fungicide, but also for treating copper-deficient soils. Two commonly used fungicide solutions containing copper sulphate are the Bordeaux Mixture and the Burgundy Mixture.

What is a Bordeaux Mixture ?

The Bordeaux mixture (also known as the Bordo Mix) was developed in the 19th century in France to control a downy mildew that caused problems on vines in the Bordeaux region of France. It contains a blend of copper sulphate and hydrated lime in water and is used to control different diseases on a wide range of plants and crops. It is used mainly to control garden, vineyard, nursery and farm infestations of fungi. It is the copper ions in the bordeaux mixture which kills the fungal spores by preventing the spores germinating. As such, the product is only effective as a prevention and not as a treatment for the fungus after it has formed.

Among Bordeaux’s many uses are applications in autumn and winter to manage:

  • Fire blight on pears and apples;
  • Leaf curl and shot hole on peaches and nectarines;
  • Downy mildew and powdery mildew on grapes;
  • Peacock spot on olives;
  • Walnut blight on walnut; and
  • Black spot on roses.

How to prepare the Bordeaux Mixture:

Ideally solutions should be prepared fresh. The conventional method of describing the mixture’s composition is to give the weight of CuSO4, the weight of hydrated lime and the volume of water, in that order. The percentage of the weight of CuSO4 to the weight of water employed determines the concentration of the mixture. Thus a 1% Bordeaux mixture, which is typical, would have the formula 1:1:100, with the first “1” representing 1 kg CuSO4 (pentahydrate), the second representing 1 kg hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide), and the 100 representing 100 litres (100 kg) water. As CuSO4 contains 25% copper, the copper content of a 1% Bordeaux mixture would be 0.25%.

For small-scale preparation: add 3 1/3 tablespoons of copper sulfate and 10 tablespoons of  hydrated lime in 5 Litres of water.

To make – dissolve the copper sulphate in half the water and dissolve the hydrated lime in the other half of the water. When both are fully dissolved, mix the two solutions together and stir well.

Please Note: it is important that metal containers in particular, iron, are not used to make up the Bordeaux solution. Use wooden or plastic containers.

Bordeaux mixture has been found to be harmful to fish, livestock and—due to potential build up of copper in the soil—earthworms.

Because Bordeaux can leave a blue-green discoloration on plants or painted surfaces, use it on dormant, deciduous plants that are away from buildings and fences.

How to use Bordeaux Mixture.

Spraying with Bordeaux mixture should be carried out before the season of spores starts. Typical usage solutions are 0.5% to 1.0% Bordeaux mix. Do not use solutions stronger than 1% as this may harm plants. Apply at 2 to 3 week intervals to give complete protection.

When applying Bordeaux, be sure to wear protective clothing, including goggles, because the spray deposit is corrosive, can permanently stain clothing, and is difficult to wash off.

Where to buy copper sulphate online UK

Where to buy hydrated lime / calcium hydroxide online UK

How to make Bordeaux Mixture with Copper Sulfate and Calcium Hydroxide

Copper sulphate Pentahydrate

calcium hydroxide

Copper(II) sulfate (CuSO4), is a common salt of copper. Copper sulfate exists as a series of compounds that differ in their degree of hydration. The anhydrous form is a pale green or gray-white powder, while the hydrated form is bright blue. The archaic name for copper(II) sulfate is “blue vitriol” or “bluestone”. The most common form of copper sulphate is in the pentahydrate form and there are over 100 manufacturers producing around 200,000 tonnes per annum. Approximately three-quarters of copper sulphate pentahydrate is used in agriculture, principally as a fungicide, but also for treating copper-deficient soils. Two commonly used fungicide solutions containing copper sulphate are the Bordeaux Mixture and the Burgundy Mixture.

What is a Bordeaux Mixture ?

The Bordeaux mixture (also known as the Bordo Mix) was developed in the 19th century in France to control a downy mildew that caused problems on vines in the Bordeaux region of France. It contains a blend of copper sulphate and hydrated lime in water and is used to control different diseases on a wide range of plants and crops. It is used mainly to control garden, vineyard, nursery and farm infestations of fungi. It is the copper ions in the bordeaux mixture which kills the fungal spores by preventing the spores germinating. As such, the product is only effective as a prevention and not as a treatment for the fungus after it has formed.

Among Bordeaux’s many uses are applications in autumn and winter to manage:

  • Fire blight on pears and apples;
  • Leaf curl and shot hole on peaches and nectarines;
  • Downy mildew and powdery mildew on grapes;
  • Peacock spot on olives;
  • Walnut blight on walnut; and
  • Black spot on roses.

How to prepare the Bordeaux Mixture:

Ideally solutions should be prepared fresh. The conventional method of describing the mixture’s composition is to give the weight of CuSO4, the weight of hydrated lime and the volume of water, in that order. The percentage of the weight of CuSO4 to the weight of water employed determines the concentration of the mixture. Thus a 1% Bordeaux mixture, which is typical, would have the formula 1:1:100, with the first “1” representing 1 kg CuSO4 (pentahydrate), the second representing 1 kg hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide), and the 100 representing 100 litres (100 kg) water. As CuSO4 contains 25% copper, the copper content of a 1% Bordeaux mixture would be 0.25%.

For small-scale preparation: add 3 1/3 tablespoons of copper sulfate and 10 tablespoons of  hydrated lime in 5 Litres of water.

To make – dissolve the copper sulphate in half the water and dissolve the hydrated lime in the other half of the water. When both are fully dissolved, mix the two solutions together and stir well.

Please Note: it is important that metal containers in particular, iron, are not used to make up the Bordeaux solution. Use wooden or plastic containers.

Bordeaux mixture has been found to be harmful to fish, livestock and—due to potential build up of copper in the soil—earthworms.

Because Bordeaux can leave a blue-green discoloration on plants or painted surfaces, use it on dormant, deciduous plants that are away from buildings and fences.

How to use Bordeaux Mixture.

Spraying with Bordeaux mixture should be carried out before the season of spores starts. Typical usage solutions are 0.5% to 1.0% Bordeaux mix. Do not use solutions stronger than 1% as this may harm plants. Apply at 2 to 3 week intervals to give complete protection.

When applying Bordeaux, be sure to wear protective clothing, including goggles, because the spray deposit is corrosive, can permanently stain clothing, and is difficult to wash off.

Where to buy copper sulphate online UK

Where to buy hydrated lime / calcium hydroxide online UK

How To Change The Color Of Hydrangeas With Aluminum Sulfate

Hydrangeas are fascinating in that, unlike most other plants, the color of their flowers can change dramatically.

It would be nice if one could change the color of hydrangeas easily. But for most of us, it is not easy. The people who have the most control over the color of their hydrangeas are those who grow them in containers. It is much easier to control or alter the pH of the soil in a container than it is in the ground.

On the other hand, hydrangeas often change color on their own when they are planted or transplanted. They are adjusting to the new environment. It is not unusual to see several different colors on one shrub the next year after planting.

It is much easier to change a hydrangea from pink to blue than it is from blue to pink. Changing a hydrangea from pink to blue entails adding aluminum to the soil.

Changing from blue to pink means subtracting aluminum from the soil or taking it out of reach of the hydrangea. This can be achieved by first treating the soil with a phosphorous based fertilizer followed by a treatment of lime or calcium. the pH should be raised to 6.0 to 6.5 but never higher than this.

In order to change the flowers of the hydrangea from pink to blue there needs to be aluminium present in the soil and a pH of less than 7 ideally between 5.2 and 5.5 (Acidic). Only plants older than 2 years which are established should be treated. Before commencing treatment to change colour it is strongly advisable to water plants thoroughly every day for a week. Where possible test soil around hydrangeas for pH.

Add 15g (1 tablespoon) of aluminium sulphate in a litre of warm water and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes to dissolve. Add this to a watering can and make up to 5 litres with cold water. Apply the solution around the based of the hydrangea. DO NOT OVERUSE as making the soil too acidic can result in damage to the roots. Check the pH and maintain it between 5.2 and 5.5. Other simple things you can do include adding as grass clippings, coffee grounds and fruit or vegetable peelings to help lower pH levels. Potassium rich fertilizers will also help to achiev this.

Where to Buy Aluminum Sulphate online UK

What is Perfumers Alcohol and how is it used

Perfumers Alcohol is a special formulation which can be used by both professionals and amateurs who wish to make perfumes. It allows the simple addition and blending of essential oils and fragrances to produce crystal clear solutions.

Perfumers alcohol is also used in the production of DIFFUSER OILS.

The blended solutions remain clear and free from cloudiness.

The 3 main ingredients of perfumers alcohol are:

  1. Ethanol (denatured) –Alcohol which is the main carrier for the fragrance oils. This evaporates quickly as it is warmed by skin temperature releasing the fragrances evenly over the surface.
  2. Isopropyl myristate – used in preparations where good absorption is desired.
  3. Monopropylene glycol – a cosolvent which allows the fragrance oils to be solubilised in the alcohol carrier. This helps to control the evaporation of the alcohol so that it does not flash off too quickly.

 

How to use Perfumers Alcohol

Using these perfumery methods will help you take your homemade fragrances to a more professional level, in fact, if you use these techniques, you could actually sell your end result! The basic professional perfume making process is the same as the amateur perfuming process, but the materials are not.

  • Perfumer’s alcohol makes a great solvent for even the most resinous oils. It is what all commercial perfumes are made with, except some boutique brands that make roll-on scented oil or solid perfume.
  • Use different fragrance materials, not only essential oils. There are many more fragrance materials available other than essential oils. If you only use essential oils, you limit your perfume blending possibilities. It’s like wanting to paint a mural, but only having red and yellow paint.
  • In addition to essential oils, there are also absolutes, fragrance oils, and isolated aroma chemicals, all supplying scents that can’t be produced with essential oils.

Absolutes are stronger and smell more like the plant than essential oils, and are used extensively in perfumery. Some plants are too delicate to be pressed or steam-distilled; making an essential oil out of them is impossible. Jasmine is one of these plants. The absolutes are expensive, but a little goes a long way. They are much more concentrated than essential oils.

Fragrance oils, despite what you may have heard, aren’t merely cheap substitutes for essential oils. They are a completely different spectrum of scent, containing a combination of absolutes, essential oils, and synthetic aroma chemicals. Fragrance oils give you access to scents that you can’t get naturally, for example strawberry, peach, and watermelon.

Fragrance oils also have the benefit of being skin-safe (as long as you get cosmetic grade.) If you want to create an entire line of perfume and bath and body products in a favourite scent, you can use the same skin-safe fragrance oil to scent all of them.

Aroma chemicals are isolated fragrance molecules that are either synthetically produced or refined from plant sources. For example, the compound vanillin is what gives vanilla its characteristic odour and flavour. Artificial vanilla flavour is usually pure synthetic vanillin. Natural vanilla has many more compounds than just vanillin, which is why it tastes better!

Strawberry fragrance oil, one of the most sought-after scents in the cosmetic and fragrance industry, is a combination of strawberry aldehyde (Ethyl methylphenylglycidate) and other compounds to round out the scent.

Using Fixitives

Use fixatives in your perfume. If you’ve experimented with essential oils such as mint and bergamot, you’ve probably noticed that they disappear within an hour. This is because they evaporate quickly, aided by the heat of your skin.

Fixatives are a way to help make fragrances last longer. They are natural or synthetic substances that enhance scent and slow down the evaporation of scents that tend to disappear. Why do fixatives work? They are very high in scent molecule count, often with no distinct odour of their own. They just blend with the key fragrance and make it seem stronger.

For example, musk, a traditional fixative, can enhance the scent and make its perceived strength stronger. It only takes a small amount for a big effect – with effective use of musk, you won’t smell it, but the entire perfume will last longer and smell stronger. (Musks have been synthetic since the 1970s due to cruelty and endangerment laws.)

Plant fixatives include many resinous, sticky oils and absolutes like benzoin, frankincense, vetiver, and orris. They often have an earthy scent that “deepens” a blend. With a little experience, you’ll have a good idea of what fixatives can enhance and give subtle character to your perfumes.

As you can probably tell, using professional methods are not much more difficult than what you may have tried already. However, I must say that the techniques given here are more expensive than the home-brewed. They require the use of specialized, more costly materials.

Using perfumer’s alcohol and absolutes are only for people who are somewhat serious about perfume, but it is a fun, fascinating activity. It is definitely possible to get started cost-effectively; Many botanical absolute suppliers have samples that you can use at first.

It’s also a good idea to try absolute dilutions before going for the real thing. Dilutions will help you work with the absolute without becoming overwhelmed by the un-concentrated fragrance, and they are also less expensive. Most dilutions are 3% – 5% absolute in jojoba oil, similar in strength to essential oils.

Where to Buy Perfumer’s Alcohol online UK

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