Chemistry of Cuprous Oxide

Cuprous oxide Copper(I) oxide or cuprous oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula Cu2O. It is one of the principal oxides of copper.

Preparation:

  1. It is prepared by heating black oxide with copper filling.
    $$\ce{CuO + Cu->Cu2O}$$
  2. It is also prepared by heating copper in air at 1100oC.
    $$\ce{4Cu + O2->[{1100^{\circ}C}]2Cu2O}$$

Physical properties:

  • It is a red colored compound.
  •  It is insoluble in water but get dissolved in ammonia solution.

Chemical properties:

  1. Action with oxygen: Cuprous oxide when heated with oxygen gives copper oxide.
    $$\ce{Cu2O + O2->[\Delta]4CuO}$$
  2. Action with hydrogen: On passing hydrogen gas, cuprous oxide gets reduced to copper metal.
    $$\ce{Cu2O + H2->2Cu + H2O}$$
  3. Action with Hydrochloric acid: Cuprous oxide when reacted with hydrochloric acid gives Cu2Cl2 and water. $$\ce{Cu2O + conc. 2HCl->Cu2Cl2 + H2O}$$
  4. Action with sulphuric acid: Cuprous oxide upon reacting with sulphuric acid gives copper sulphate, carbon monoxide and water. $$\ce{Cu2O + dil. H2SO4->CuSO4 + CO + H2O}$$

Uses of cuprous oxide:

  •  It is used as protective paint to avoid rusting.
  • It is used to make red glass.
  •  It is used to obtain cuprous oxide.

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