I was really curious about what would happen if you drop some paper and a weak metal (Copper) into strong acids. I only have 2 acids so that’s all I could do.
Paper (A4 70 Grams) :
The paper started to fizz.
And after that, it ended and nothing happened. But the paper is mushy and soft.
Nothing happened with the copper. So I waited for one hour, but still, nothing happened.
The same thing happened with the Hydrochloric acid…
The piece of copper dissolved very quickly and created this fumes which I think is called nitrogen dioxide (because of the orange vapor). And after that, there was only a green solution left in the beaker.
I think the Hydrochloric acid is less stronger than the Nitric Acid.
The last time we used test tubes and destroyed all of them! So I’m going to use a beaker.
I put the copper sulfate in it and going to burn it.
It’s white now. I’ll drop water on it.
I’m guessing that it works like this: I took the water molucles out by evaporating the water, now I have this white dust without water in there, and when I added the water, it turned back to blue (it’s like adding the water molucles back to it). This is why I love chemistry. It’s so awesome!
Well, the last time, we tried to melt copper (II) sulfate, and it didn’t work at all. But there’s this water vapor from it:
What I wanted to do today, is to extract the water out of it and test it. It loses two water molecules when heating at 63 °C (145 °F), two more at 109 °C (228 °F), and the final water molecule at 200 °C (392 °F). What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
OK, I’ve setup this apparatus to extract the liquid. On the top left is the copper sulfate in a test tube. I’m going to heat it up and water vapor will go into the plastic tube and go into the test tube.
Turned on the heat and we just need to wait.
Yay! it’s working!
There is so much water coming in!
I turned off the heat because most of the water is extracted, I’m going to put some more in there.
I added a new load of copper sulfate to get more liquid, but… the test tube….
I added some cold water in the beaker on the test tube that’s receiving the liquid because I think that using a cold temperature will turn the water vapor into drops of water before the water vapor escapes from the test tube.Water vapor turns into liquid droplets when cooled. That is called condensation, it’s the opposite of evaporation. Let’s see if this works.
All right, finished. I think the second method works better. And the best thing is: we got some liquid! I’m going to make a separate post about testing this liquid.
As said on my post (it finally came 2) the silver nitrate is only 10 grams and it’s about $20. 10 grams is a little amount and it is very expensive, so I hope I don’t make any mistakes. The classic silver tree demonstration! Very simple to set up and perform, it’s great to introduce kids to the world of chemistry.
Things you’ll need: copper wire, silver nitrate, a beaker, and distilled water.
Pour 120 ml of distilled water into the beaker.
Pour about 4 grams of silver nitrate into the beaker.
Make a copper coil by wrapping copper wire around something round and taking it out. Put the copper coil into the beaker.
As you could see the reaction has started.
The more silver nitrate you add, the quicker the reaction starts.
Silver Crystals are covering the copper. It looks very pretty.
Prettiest experiment I ever performed.
This experiment is very easy to setup and very fun for kids.
You can keep going, but the more you wait, the more crystals will grow and turn blacker because when silver nitrate absorbs light, it will turn black. Now the silver nitrate is turning into silver metal.
Now I’m going to filter the silver metal out and see what comes out.
I got the silver metal. I put it in a bottle to preserve it.
The silver nitrate is in solution and the metallic copper will dissolve to form copper nitrate; as it does so, the silver in solution will be precipitated out as metallic silver. That is, the silver in solution is exchanged for copper and the copper that is not in solution is substituted for silver. Hope this makes sense!
In this post, I’m going to show you how to change iron to copper in two easy steps.
Things you’ll need: copper (II) sulfate, a cup, a spoon, water, and nails or paper clips.
Pour water into the cup.
Put lots of copper sulfate into the cup. I put two spoons.
Drop a paper clip or a nail into the solution.
Wait for 24 hours, and take the paper clip/nail out of the cup. Be careful not to leave it too long in the cup, or else the metal will rust. (Wait for one day after you take the metal out of the solution).
In Discorso, one of the last manuscripts written by Antonio Neri before his death, he reveals several transmutation recipes. One describes turning iron into copper; it is instructive because it uses common materials that we can identify and because the chemistry is now well understood.
Take some iron sheets and lay them in vitriol water, being immersed in that, they will rust. Scrape off this rust, which will be a red powder, melt it in a crucible, and you will have perfect copper. The same effect can be had from various waters that are naturally vitriolated, because they flow through mines of vitriol, such as those of a source some distance from Leiden, and another below the fortress of Smolnik, [now in Slovakia].
Vitriol is an acidic sulfate dissolved in water, it could be made in the laboratory, but it also occurred naturally around mining operations where sulfurous minerals were present. Alchemists knew this solution as “oil of vitriol” and “spirit of vitriol.” The mine that Neri references in Smolnik became famous for transmutation. As late as the eighteenth century, scientists and experimenters from around Europe made the pilgrimage to see the effect for themselves and tried to figure out what was happening. It may be a surprise to some readers, but following the above instructions will, in fact, produce copper just as Neri claimed. There is no deception or sleight of hand involved; the explanation is straightforward, but first, Neri treats us to a rare glimpse of his own reasoning on the subject:
Some estimate and not without reason, that this experiment, being used to prove the transmutation of metals, is not suitable for this purpose. They say that the vitriolated waters become such because they are already heavy with the corrosive spirits of sulfur, having passed through the copper or iron mine, these waters corrode copper in the same way aqua fortis corrodes silver. So that really the substance of the copper remains in the water, which attacks the surface of the iron, which always remains iron. However, if that were true then the iron would not get consumed, or if it were consumed it would mix with the substance of the corroded copper in the water, and if it were fused, it would remain a mixture of iron and copper. And yet in this experiment, all the iron is consumed; it is reduced by the vitriolated water into powder, […] which in the fusion is still pure copper, so there should remain no doubt that this is a true transmutation.
Given the state of chemistry at the time, Neri’s reasoning is clear and rational. The iron disappears and a copper coating materializes in its place. What better evidence of transmutation could one ask for?
The key to what was actually happening is in the criticism leveled by skeptics. It turns out that they were on the right track, but neither they nor Neri had the full picture. Today, we understand it as a simple ion exchange reaction; blue vitriol water is a transparent saturated solution of copper sulfate (CuSO4), in the presence of solid iron, the liquid dissolves the iron; copper from the vitriol is deposited in its place. The two metals, copper and iron, change places: the iron dissolves, forming green vitriol (FeSO4) and copper is expelled from the solution. The result is a reduction in the amount of the iron, which is replaced by a proportional deposit of pure copper.
On a physical level, this chemical reaction is no different today than it was in the seventeenth century. What has changed is our interpretation of the experiment. What Neri viewed as a transformation of iron into copper, we now see as an exchange. There is, however, a deeper lesson in all this. As an alchemist, Antonio Neri was not being delusional or dishonest; he was careful, observant and applied his knowledge as best he could. This is no different from the way science works today. Both then and now, to be successful in unraveling nature’s secrets, one must become accustomed to a very uncomfortable situation: In the past, careful reasoning by brilliant thinkers has led to utterly wrong conclusions. The fact that much of our world is a mystery is unsettling; that the very process we use to understand it can be so flawed is harder to accept. Even more difficult is that the faculty we all rely on for survival—our own wits—can lead us so far astray.