First discovered in vineyards where fermented grapes would rest on sheets of copper, Copper acetate is a very important chemical in the history of pigments. Copper Acetate is a deep blue chemical that is quite easy to make at home, making it an ideal candidate for coloration in early paint production.In our experiment we will show you how to make this very neat chemical using things that you most likely have in your home!
Step 1: Step 1: Gathering the Materials
For our experiment, we will need Copper Sulfate:, Sodium Bicarbonate, Distilled Water,and Vinegar. These three chemicals are quite cheap, found at any Walmart/Target/Home Depo.These chemicals will cost a total of $20 if bought at their lowest quantities. Most of these chemicals are something you have at home, except for the Copper Sulfate, which is common found as root killer for $8 a pound (450g).
Step 2: Step 2: Creating Copper Carbonate
First you need to identify the amount of Copper Acetate you would like. In my case I used approximately 50g of Copper Sulfate. To this I added 30ml of Distilled water, and with heating, dissolved the Copper Sulfate. Once dissolved to the best of its ability I added the sodium bicarbonate to the Copper Sulfate solution. This produces a large amount of off-gas so do this in a well ventilated area. In total I used about 100g of Sodium Bicarbonate, it is important to make sure ALL the Copper Sulfate has reacted prior to moving on.
Copper Carbonate is highly insoluble in water, the best way to separate the copper carbonate is through gravity filtration. Using a coffee filter, separate the insoluble precipitate. Wash thoroughly with water.Once separated allow the solid to dry overnight.
Step 3: Step 3: Adding Vinegar and Drying
Once dry overnight you need to transfer the Copper Carbonate to a clean beaker. The solid will need to be mixed with an excess of vinegar. When you add the vinegar you will notice more off-gas of CO2, so again do this in a well ventilated area. Once the vinegar has been added, Copper Acetate will start to form. Copper Acetate is deep blue to purple, and you will notice the color change immediately.
The next step is to dry the solution, and is up to you how to take this path. If you chose to heat the solution you will dry it faster, however this will produce Copper Hydroxide, photo 2. The solid we desire is that show in photo 1. Allowing the solution to dry via slow evaporation is preferable, but is not needed.
Once the solid has been extracted it can then be recrystallized to create a large, single crystal. This will be explained in a later video/instructable, but this is just to get you started.
Step 4: Step 4: Extra Help
If you are confused, or would like to see the demonstration I have set it up on youtube. If you are still confused, or want more help head over to this website for more information. The linked website provided some images seen and they do great work over there, I highly suggest their website!