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copper practical

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Copper Practical Introduction In this practical I will be making copper. Copper is extracted by reduction although for many purposes such as electrical wiring, copper is required in a high state of purity. For this purpose, copper is purified by electrolysis. Purification of copper by electrolysis consists of an anode made of an impure copper plate and a cathode made of a pure copper plate. The electrolyte is copper (II) sulphate solution. All of the impurities that were in the impure copper plate are collected at the bottom of the cell and are known as 'anode mud'. This can also be refined to produce precious metals such as silver, gold and platinum. Materials Bunsen burner Malachite powder (copper carbonate) Carbon powder Heat proof mat Weighing scales Beaker Test tube Filter paper Cold water Spatula Test tube rack Scrap paper (for using as a surface when weighing the malachite powder) Risk Assessment Risk Danger Precaution Action Malachite powder(copper carbonate) Harmful if swallowed. Powder and dust irritates lung and eyes Handle carefully making sure no powder falls If swallowed wash out mouth. If inhaled get fresh air Carbon powder Inhalation affects lungs Handle carefully making sure not to drop powder or inhale if inhaled get fresh air glassware Could break, causing wounds and bleeding Handle carefully and wear goggles at all times Inform teacher and clear away immediately Method 1. I put 2.5 grams of malachite powder into a large test tube and heated it gently, until it turned black and stopped rising in the test tube. 2. I allowed the test tube to cool. ...read more.


Electrolysis works best and most efficiently when it is carried out without any pauses. Electrolysis should be carried out continuously without any pauses. Errors During my practical I encountered errors. I overcame these errors by following all the precautions required, which I will explain. My first possible source of error was when weighing the malachite powder. I could have weighed too much of the malachite powder without noticing and so this may have affected my final result. I overcame this by carefully weighing the malachite powder on accurate scales and zeroing the scales before I weighed the powder, so the weight of the malachite powder did not add onto another weight which would have made my results and practical inaccurate. My second possible source of error was when I was burning the copper until it turned red. I may have been burning the copper for too long and/or not noticed that the copper had already turned red. I overcame this error by concentrating and observing the copper carefully. My third possible source of error was when I was taking the copper out of the test tube and putting it onto the filter paper. I may have accidentally left some of the copper at the bottom of the test tube. This may have been because I had accidentally left it at the bottom of the test tube or I may not have been able to take the copper out of the test tube. I also may have lost some of the copper on my glass rod when I was stirring the solution. ...read more.


In industry, there is key difference in the scale of production from the scale of production within a school or laboratory. In industry, copper is produced on a very large scale, as the copper is required by many people and as a result demand will be higher. This makes industries produce more copper. On the other hand, when copper is produced in the school or laboratory, it is only required by a few people and for small, limited use. As a result of this, there will not be much point in creating lots of copper, which is why copper is produced on a small scale in the school or laboratory. Another area where there is a difference between the industrial production of copper and copper production in the school or laboratory regards cost. Industrial production of copper is on a large-scale and therefore requires a lot more equipment and higher level equipment to maintain a high industrial standard. This requires the expenditure of a lot of money in order to buy the high level equipment. As a result, the cost of manufacturing copper in industry is a lot higher as opposed to the cost of manufacturing copper in school or the laboratory. The reason why the cost of producing copper in school is not very much is because low level equipment is used to manufacture it. In school, we only used basic equipment during our experiment. This equipment does not cost very much and therefore manufacturing copper in the school or laboratory is not expensive. ...read more.

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