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

The Decomposition of Ammonium Dichromate

What is Ammonium Dichromate?

Ammonium dichromate is an orange coloured crystalline substance.  It is a salt formed by reacting the base ammonium hydroxide with dichromic acid. It is because dichromic acid is a powerful oxidizing agent and the oxidation state of nitrogen atoms in ammonia is – 3, that ammonium dichromate is an unstable and reactive compound, that decomposes easily. This is because the salt anion has an atom in a high oxidation state which is capable to oxidize the nitrogen atoms from the ammonium cation, and vice versa. In the case of ammonium dichromate, ammonium nitrogen is oxidized to elemental nitrogen, while the chromium atom is being reduced to trivalent state.

What is the science behind the experiment?

As you can see from the reaction enthalpy below, the reaction is exothermic, which means that energy in the form of heat is released in the reaction. Although this is energetically possible, you will need to initiate the decomposition of ammonium dichromate by adding some external energy. This energy needs to be enough to overcome the activation energy barrier, after which the decomposition reaction continues spontaneously.

ammonium dichromate enthalpy equation

The volcano effect can be realized if we analyze the products of the reaction. Namely, elemental nitrogen and water produced in the reaction are both in gaseous state, while chromium (III) oxide is a green solid. The liberation of nitrogen and water vapor agitate the incandescent particles of chromium (III) oxide

The chromium (III) oxide that is formed in this reaction is very voluminous, so the volume is much greater at the end of the reaction than in the beginning, which gives the effect of a volcanic eruption.

How to conduct the experiment

What you will need

Chemicals

Apparatus

  • Large Container
  • Heatproof mat
  • Wooden splint
  • Fume Cupboard
  • Tongs
  • Watchglass
  • Blue cobalt chloride paper

Step 1

On a heatproof mat make a small conical heap (less than 50mm wide) of about 10 g of ammonium dichromate (VI). Place it on a larger metal tray to collect the large volume of chromium (III) oxide produced.  The whole apparatus should them be placed inside a fume cupboard.

 

Step 2

Soak a 3 cm length of a wooden splint in ethanol and put this into the top of the pile so that about 2 cm protrudes. This will act as a wick. See below for a diagram of how the experiment should look.

ammonium-dichromate-setup

Step 3

Light the wick. As the wick burns down into the ammonium dichromate (VI), the orange solid begins to give off sparks and decompose into chromium(III) oxide, giving it the appearance of a volcano erupting.

Step 4

The ‘volcano’ reaction increases in rate and continues for 30 – 45 seconds. You can use tongs to hold a watch glass just above the erupting volcano for a few seconds. It will become steamed up with water vapour from the decomposition reaction.  You can confirm that this with blue cobalt chloride paper that will turn pink.

As all the ammonium dichromate may not react during the experiment it is highly recommended that you conduct the experiment in a fume cupboard, as ammonium dichromate is extremely toxic and may be carcinogenic.

Buy Ammonium Dichromate Now

How To Change The Colour Of A Campfire

Sitting in front of a fire or enjoying the dancing flames with family and friends over good conversation is a great way to pass an evening. Adding some flair and colour to the fire with everyday items will astound your guests and make them squeal with delight. Several household items change the colour of a fire from standard orange and yellow to blues, greens and reds.

Instructions

Things You’ll Need

  • One of several chemicals listed below
  • A fire
  • Personal protective equipment

The most important and first step is read all the warnings for this article. If you don’t, very bad things could happen.

Now determine what colour you want to change the flame to. The options are red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple, and bright white.

Now you need to get some of the material required to give you your desired colour, these are all available from mistralni.co.uk

Here’s the breakdown by colour:

Colour Salts
Red Any Strontium salt like Strontium Nitrate
Orange Calcium Chloride
Yellow Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Chloride (Table Salt)
Green Barium salts such as Barium nitrate, Borax
Turquoise Copper sulphate
Blue Copper (II) Chloride (Campfire Blue)
Purple Potassium Permanganate
White Magnesium Sulphate

There are a few different methods you can use, they are listed below.

  • Toss dry colorants onto the flames.
  • Soak logs in an alcohol solution of colorants.
  • Soak logs in an aqueous (water) solution of colorants and allow the logs to dry.
  • Prepare pinecones, sawdust, or cork with colorants.

In general, there is no specific ratio of colorant to mix with the alcohol or water. Add as much powdered colorant as will dissolve in the liquid. Don’t attempt to mix colours together – you will probably end up with a normal yellow flame. If you want multicoloured fire, try adding a few different pinecones, each soaked with a single colorant, or scatter a mixture of dried coloured sawdust across the fire.

How to Prepare Pinecones or Sawdust

Remember to do this procedure separately for each colour. You can combine some sawdust, dry pinecones or any other absorbant material with different colorants later.

  1. Pour water into a bucket. Use sufficient water to be able to wet your pinecones, sawdust, or waste cork. (Skip to step 3 if you purchased your colorant in liquid form.)
  2. Stir in colorant until you can’t dissolve any more. For sawdust or waste cork, you may also add some liquid glue, which will allow the pieces to stick together and form larger chunks.
  3. Add the pinecones, sawdust, or cork. Mix to form an even coat.
  4. Let the material soak in the colorant mixture for several hours or overnight.
  5. Spread the pieces out to dry. If desired, pinecones may be placed in a paper or mesh bag. You can spread sawdust or cork out on paper, which will also produce coloured flames.

How to Prepare Logs

Follow steps 1 and 2 above and either roll a log around in the container (big container, small log) or else pour and spread the mixture onto the logs. Wear appropiate protective gloves to protect yourself. Allow them to dry. You can make your own newspaper logs by smearing colorant onto the newspaper before rolling it.

Points to Keep in Mind

  • Always take care and use the appropiate protective equipment when working with chemicals or fire.
  • Keep the colorants away from children and handle them with the care and respect due to potentially hazardous chemicals. Read and adhere to any warnings listed on product labels.
  • The element sodium burns with a yellow flame. The presence of this element can overwhelm any other colour. For this reason you should avoid using sodium if you are making a dry mixture.
  • If you are using alcohol-based colorants: Remember that alcohol is flammable. If you don’t allow it to evaporate before use, you will get a lighter-fluid effect. Use with care!
  • You should not try to colour the color of a barbecue, because although it will produce pretty flames it can also produce toxic fumes that will go into the food.