Physical and Chemical Properties of Copper

Physical properties of copper

  •  It is reddish brown colored solid.
  •  It is soft, malleable and ductile.
  • It is very good conductor of heat and electricity.
  • It’s boiling point is 2582°C and melting point is 1083°C.

Chemical properties of copper

a. Action with water: Copper does have any effect when reacted with water but gets oxidized when introduced to steam.
$$\ce{Cu + $\underset{\text{Steam}}{\ce{H2O}}$->CuO + H2 ^ }$$

c. Action with H2S: Copper when reacted with H2S gives hydrogen gas.
$$\ce{Cu + H2S->CuS + H2 ^ }$$

d. Action with acid:  Copper reacts with all major acids.

With hydrochloric acid (HCl):

  •  With dilute HCl: Copper does not react with dilute HCl but in the presence of air, it gives salt.
    $$\ce{2Cu + conc. 2HCl + O2->[air]2H2O + 2CuCl2}$$
  • With concentrated HCl: Copper when reacted with concentrated HCl gives cupric chloride and water.
    $$\ce{2Cu + 4HCl + O2->2CuCl2 + 2H2O}$$

With sulphuric acid (H2SO4):

  •  With dilute H2SO4: Reaction with dilute H2SO4 gives copper sulphate.
    $$\ce{2Cu + dil.2H2SO4 + O->[\text{air}]2H2O + 2CuSO4 ^}$$
  • With concentrated H2SO4: Copper when reacted with dilute H2SO4 to gives copper sulphate, sulphur oxide and water.
    $$\ce{Cu + conc.2H2SO4->CuSO4 + SO2 + 2H2O}$$

Action with Nitric acid (HNO3): 

  •  With dilute HNO3: Copper when reacted with dilute HNO3 gives nitrogen oxide and water.$$\ce{3Cu + dil. 8HNO3 ->3Cu(NO3)2 + 2NO + 4H2O}$$
  • With concentrated HNO3: Upon reacting with concentrated HNO3, there is the liberation of nitrogen gas.
    $$\ce{Cu + conc. 4HNO3->Cu(NO3)2 + NO2 + 2H2O }$$

e. Action with chloride: Silver gives copper chloride when reacted with chloride and respective halides when reacted with other halides.

$$\ce{Cu + Cl->CuCl2}$$

f. Reaction with ammonia:
Copper when reacted with ammonia gives tetra amine copper ion.

$$\ce{Cu + 4NH3->$\underset{\text{Tetra amine copper ion}}{\ce{Cu(NH3)4]^+2}}$}$$

Uses of copper:

  • It is used to make wires, utensils, jewelleries etc.
  • It is used in making wires.
  • It is used in electroplating and electrolysis.
  • Copper salts are used as insecticides and pesticides.

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