Copper(I) chloride

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Copper(I) chloride, or cuprous chloride, has the chemical formula CuCl. It is a white, almost insoluble salt which is slowly oxidized by air.

Properties

Chemical

CuCl is almost completely insoluble in water. It does however form complexes and dissolve in concentrated hydrochloric acid and ammonium hydroxide, as well as in cyanide and thiosulfate solutions.

Physical

Pure samples of copper(I) chloride appear as white, dense, cubical crystals. As it is slowly oxidized in air, older samples may appear dirty green or brown.

Preparation

Copper(I) chloride can be prepared by reduction of copper(II) ions in presence of chloride ions. Possible methods include bubbling sulfur dioxide through an aqueous solution of copper(II) chloride, or heating a solution of copper sulfate, sodium chloride and ascorbic acid. It can also be produced by boiling copper(II) chloride and copper metal in hydrochloric acid.

Projects

Copper(I) chloride can be used to make copper oxychloride by oxidation in air.

The primary explosive copper(I) acetylide is made by passing acetylene gas through a solution of CuCl in aqueous ammonia.

Handling

Safety

Cuprous chloride is irritant and corrosive to eyes and skin. Protection clothing should be worn when handling it.[1]

Storage

CuCl should be kept in sealed containers, away from oxygen. Schlenk flasks are a good storage container.

Disposal

CuCl can be oxidized with oxygen or hydrogen peroxide to the more soluble CuCl2, which can be reduced to metallic copper with a more reactive metal, such as iron or zinc.

References

  1. http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923602

Copper(I) chloride, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper%28I%29_chloride).

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