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.

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Where to buy hydrated lime / calcium hydroxide online UK

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What is Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate and what is it used for ?

What is Copper sulphate pentahydrate:

Copper(II) sulphate pentahydrate (CuSO4.5H2O), is a common salt of copper. Copper sulphate is a bright blue, odourless crystalline solid which is soluble in water. The archaic name for copper(II) sulphate is “blue vitriol” or “bluestone”. It has numerous applications including as a fungicide, algaecide, pesticide, laboratory analytical reagent, feed supplement, zinc etching and as a mordant.

Specification for Copper Sulphate:

  • Synonyms: Cupric sulphate; sulphuric acid, Copper salt; Blue vitriol; Bluestone; Sulfate de cuivre; Kupfersulfat Pentahydrat;
  • Appearance: blue crystals
  • Formula: CuSO4 5H2O
  • Assay: 98.5% minimum
  • Cu: 25%
  • CAS No: 7758–99–8
  • EINECS No: 231–847–6
  • Mol weight: 246.48
  • Melting point: 150 C
  • Density: 2.28 g/cm3
  • Solubility: soluble in water 316 g/L (0C) 2033 g/L (100C)
  • pH: 4 at 50 g/L
  • Refractive index: 1.514

Copper sulphate is soluble in methanol (10.4 g/L @18C) but insoluble in ethanol. At 650C copper sulphate decomposes into copper (II) oxide and sulphur trioxide.

Where to buy copper sulphate online UK

How to use copper sulphate for killing Moss:

Copper sulphate kills moss on contact. It is commonly used for treatment of moss on roofs, paths etc but not for grass. For treatment of moss on grass it is best to use Ferrous sulphate.

Mix 5–8g per litre of water. apply this solution at a rate of 1 litre per 5m2. When the moss is dead wash off under high pressure.

How to use copper sulphate for treating algae in ponds, fish tanks and aquariums:

Dissolve 30g of copper sulphate and 30g of citric acid in 1 litre of water. For each 5 litres of pond water add 1 drop of the made up solution (this equates to 0.15ppm). Do not allow levels of copper to exceed 0.20 ppm.

How to use copper sulphate for controlling tree roots in drains & sewers

CLICK HERE to read an aticle on how to contol tree roots in drains etc

Several chemical tests utilize copper sulfate as an indicator. In a flame test its copper ions emit a deep blue-green light. It is used infehlings solution and Benedicts solution to test for reducing sugars, which reduce the soluble blue copper(II) sulfate to insoluble red copper oxide. Copper(II) sulfate is also used in the Biuret reagent to test for proteins.

Copper sulphate is also used to test blood for anemia. A drop of the patient’s blood is dropped into a beaker of copper sulfate solution: if it sinks within a certain time, then the patient has sufficient haemogloblin levels and is not anemic. If the blood floats or sinks too slowly, then the patient is iron-deficient and may be anemic.

Copper sulphate is a commonly included chemical in children’s che­mistry sets and is often used in high school crystal growing and copper plating experiments. However due to its toxicity, it is not recommended for small children.

Copper sulphate is often used to demonstrate an exothermic reaction, in which steel wool or magnesium ribbon is placed in an aqueous solution of CuSO4.

It is used in school chemistry courses to demonstrate the principle of mineral hydration. The pentahydrate form, which is blue, is heated, turning the copper sulfate into the anhydrous form which is white, while the water that was present in the pentahydrate form evaporates. When water is then added to the anhydrous compound, it turns back into the pentahydrate form, regaining its blue colour. It can be used to plate metals with copper.

It finds use in agriculture as a fungicide. Mixed with lime it is called Bordeaux mixture, which is used to control fungus on plant leaves, grapes and other berries. Normally it is used as a 1% solution (100g copper sulphate & 100g Lime per 10 litres of water)

Its use as an herbicide is not agricultural, but instead for control of invasive exotic aquatic plants and the roots of other invasive plants near various pipes that contain water.

A very dilute solution of copper sulfate is used to treat aquarium fish of various parasitic infections, and is also used to remove snails from aquariums. However, as the copper ions are also highly toxic to the fish, care must be taken with the dosage. Most species of algae can be controlled with very low concentrations of copper sulfate.

Other uses include: hair dyes, as a fining in winemaking, and the processing of leather and textiles.

Health & Safety

Risk phrases: R22– Harmful if swallowed. R36/38– Irritating to eyes and skin. R50/53– Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.

Safety phrases: S22– Do not breathe dust. S60– This material and its container must be disposed of as hazardous waste. S61– Avoid release to the environment.

For full information see MSDS for copper sulphate pentahydrate above in documents section.

Where to buy copper sulphate online UK

Uses for Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate

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.

How to use copper sulfate for killing Moss:

Mix 5–8g per litre of water. apply this solution at a rate of 1 litre per 5m2.

How to use copper sulfate for treating algae in ponds, fish tanks and aquariums:

Dissolve 30g of copper sulfate and 30g of citric acid in 1 litre of water. For each 5 litres of pond water add 1 drop of the made up solution (this equates to 0.15ppm). Do not allow levels of copper to exceed 0.20 ppm.

How to use copper sulfate for controlling tree roots in drains & sewers

CLICK HERE to read an article on how to control tree roots in drains etc

Other uses for copper sulfate

Several chemical tests utilize copper sulfate as an indicator. In a flame test its copper ions emit a deep blue-green light. It is used in fehlings solution and Benedicts solution to test for reducing sugars, which reduce the soluble blue copper(II) sulfate to insoluble red copper oxide. Copper(II) sulfate is also used in the Biuret reagent to test for proteins.

Copper sulfate is also used to test blood for anemia. A drop of the patient’s blood is dropped into a beaker of copper sulfate solution: if it sinks within a certain time, then the patient has sufficient haemogloblin levels and is not anemic. If the blood floats or sinks too slowly, then the patient is iron-deficient and may be anemic.

Copper sulfate is a commonly included chemical in children’s che­mistry sets and is often used in high school crystal growing and copper plating experiments. However due to its toxicity, it is not recommended for small children.

Copper sulfate is often used to demonstrate an exothermic reaction, in which steel wool or magnesium ribbon is placed in an aqueous solution of CuSO4.

It is used in school chemistry courses to demonstrate the principle of mineral hydration. The pentahydrate form, which is blue, is heated, turning the copper sulfate into the anhydrous form which is white, while the water that was present in the pentahydrate form evaporates. When water is then added to the anhydrous compound, it turns back into the pentahydrate form, regaining its blue colour. It can be used to plate metals with copper.

It finds use in agriculture as a fungicide. Mixed with lime it is called Bordeaux mixture, which is used to control fungus on plant leaves, grapes and other berries. Normally it is used as a 1% solution (100g copper sulfate & 100g Lime per 10 litres of water)

Its use as a herbicide is not agricultural, but instead for control of invasive exotic aquatic plants and the roots of other invasive plants near various pipes that contain water.

Other applications include:

  • Production of copper fungicides.
  • Manufacture of Insecticides.
  • Addition of copper to copper deficient soil.
  • Soil sterilization.
  • Preparation of Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures.
  • Mixed with ammonium carbonate to produce “Chestnut compound”.
  • Preservative for pulp, wood and wooden structures.
  • As a disinfectant, antiseptic, germicide and bacteriostat.
  • Inhibits the growth of bacteria like Escherichia coli.
  • Treatment of parasitic infections in aquarium fish.
  • Removal of snails in aquariums.
  • For the control and prevention of foot rot in cattle and sheep.
  • As a growth stimulant for pigs and chickens.
  • For the control and treatment of scum on lakes and ponds.
  • As a molluscicide.
  • As a preservative in glues.
  • Control of bloom caused by algae in pools, ponds, reservoirs, spas etc
  • Purification of gases.
  • Mordant in vegetable dying industry.
  • Laundry marking ink.
  • As a dye for hair.
  • Green colouration in fireworks and in flame tests.
  • Preparation of diazo and aniline black dyes.
  • Preparation of catalysts.
  • Preparation of other copper compounds.
  • As an electrolyte in plating and refining industries.
  • As a flotation agent in mining.
  • In the purification of butadiene.
  • In the purification of petroleum oil.
  • Etching agent in engraving especially zinc in the intaglio printmaking.
  • In glass and ceramics industry to colour.
  • Production of rayon.
  • For blueing steel and the colouring of zinc and aluminium.
  • For the control of concrete setting.
  • Control and protection against lichen, fungus and moulds.
  • In the preparation of Fehlings solution, Biuret Reagent and Benedicts solution.
  • In the laboratory to demonstrate exothermic reactions where steel wool or magnesium and placed in an aqueous solution of copper sulphate.

 

Where to buy copper sulphate online UK