Isolation of Elements


Copper occurs in combined state as sulphides, oxides and carbonates. Copper pyrites (or) chalcopyrites and copper glance are its sulphide ores. Cuprite is its oxide ore, while malachite and azurite are its carbonate ores. Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable and ductilemetal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as Sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement.

Reactions of copper

The reaction between magnesium metal and oxygen to form magnesium oxide involves the oxidation of magnesium.

The simplest ion that copper forms in solution is the typical blue hexaaquacopper (II) ion - [Cu(H2O)6]2+.

Once a hydrogen ion has been removed from two of the water molecules, you are left with a complex with no charge - a neutral complex. This is insoluble in water and a precipitate is formed.

[Cu(H2O)6]2+ + 2OH-----<[Cu(H2O)4 (OH)2]+2H2O

Occurrence of Copper

Copper occurs both in combined state and free state. Copper also occurs in many ores. Some of the important copper ores are copper pyrites ( CuFeS2 ), cuprite and copper glance.