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DISOLVED COPPER

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kinarfi

Well-Known Member
Little Ghostman
You sound like you may be able to answer this,
Read http://www.electro-tech-online.com/...etching-with-nitric-acid.150753/#post-1294020 and didn't want to do a Hijack, so
years ago, I bought a fire pit ring and thought that some color would be nice, so I threw some copper tubing and had some green flames, for a while. Asked a friend about it and he said the copper had glazed over and that it could be removed with muriatic acid, so I put the copper in a bucket and covered it with the acid and left it over night, next fire, the color was back, but I noticed the acid was green, so I threw some of that on the fire and WOW, look at that color, blue, green, turquoise, just beautiful to look at, and makes for some good BS stories for young scouts by scout leaders, I gave some to a friend. I don't even bother with copper to color the fire any more, just "blue fire", as the solution has come to be known as.
My question is what am I getting when I put copper in the hydrochloric acid (the dark brown/green liquid, the light green paste at the bottom), what am I getting as it is 'consumed' by the fire, the color is very prominent when the liquid is added, but dissipates after a while, is it dangerous if you breath in any of the smoke as it burns, is it dangerous to cook over (hot dogs, etc), what's left in the ashes.
Thanks,
Jeff
 

ChrisP58

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Run a search using the terms "color for fireworks" or "pyrotechnics" or any related words and you'll come up with thousands (millions) of hits about the chemistry used to produce the different colors.
 

hyedenny

Active Member
You're getting cuprous and cupric chloride. You're also getting a lot of other crap depending on the heat of the fire and whatever else you're burning -- including probably hydrogen cyanide and phosgene -- both deadly gases used in WW2 to kill people . Your throwing this crap in the fire is pretty irresponsible, especially if you're doing it in front of a bunch of Boy Scouts. You're supposed to be teaching them fire safety and how to respect the environment -- not the opposite. Copper salts are used specifically to kill vegetation and sterilize soil. Maybe you should think and ask these questions before you pass your brilliant ideas on to children. Un-frikkin-believable.
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
You're getting cuprous and cupric chloride. You're also getting a lot of other crap depending on the heat of the fire and whatever else you're burning -- including probably hydrogen cyanide and phosgene -- both deadly gases used in WW2 to kill people . Your throwing this crap in the fire is pretty irresponsible, especially if you're doing it in front of a bunch of Boy Scouts. You're supposed to be teaching them fire safety and how to respect the environment -- not the opposite. Copper salts are used specifically to kill vegetation and sterilize soil. Maybe you should think and ask these questions before you pass your brilliant ideas on to children. Un-frikkin-believable.
No yet again your wildly off track!!!

What nonsense.

Explain how you going to get Phosgene from this!!! Look at the half reactions.

But lets go with a few of your assumptions. Phosgene is COCl2 correct? So for a start you would need Carbon monoxide, ok not beyond possible in a fire, however there is also copper being heated. So considering the electron potentials of each, the most likely and highly probale situation is copper copper oxide as the copper is heated, do you agree with that?

So now we have Copper Oxide and Carbon Monoxide............... What do you get if you heat Copper oxide and Carbon Monoxide together? HINT

CuO + CO → Cu + CO2

Carbon Dioxide is not considered a war gas. So do the half reactions with electron states and show how you would get Phosgene!

As for Hydrogen Cyanide!!! Please explain that one to me, this I got to hear.

Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN)

Most methods involve Hydrogen Gas (not going to get that roaming freely in a fire are you!) Nitrogen (vaguely possible) and normally Ammonia (nope cant se where your getting that from), the other problem is you really need a Platinum catalyst for it. I dont see any platinum mentioned here.

There are other routes, so kindly take a look and explain your theory of how it would occur in this situation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_cyanide

If you want text book references let me know. Also please do try and provide a reference otherwise its just spouting bolox.

One other point. If you actually added Phosgene to the hot copper in the fire what would happen?

Well at 260+ ~400C you would get Cuprous Chloride. So You assumption that the reaction to form Phosgene is way way far from any reality likely to occur, but feel free to provide a reference for it.

You also state Cuprous and Cupric Chloride, you cant have it both ways! If your getting Cuprous Chloride your not going to be getting Phosgene are you ;). Basically you defeated your own argument.

Edit

OOps didnt reference the last one

The Reaction of Phosgene with Copper
DOI: 10.1149/1.2127679

Before you try and give the other pathway........... I will do it for you. Keep in mind though you need 5 bar of pressure and the conditions as the OP gave are simply not at all feasiable.

Reaction kinetics of oxychlorination of carbon monoxide to phosgene based on copper(II) chloride
doi.org/10.1016/j.apcata.2008.12.035

As you can see yourself, it just isnt going to happen in a camp fire ;). If only it was that easy...
And yes I read the entire paper.
..........................................................................................


Oh and finally.........Copper salts are mainly used as a fungicide or to replace copper deficiency in soil. Grains used to be coated in copper Sulphate to preserve them.... Not really used to get rid of vegetation, the amount needed would high, good for killing molluscs though. Would love to hear more on your expert chemical knowledge.
Try not to make people look stupid, especially when it can have the opposite effect ;).

https://www.copper.org/resources/properties/compounds/agricultural.html
 
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large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Little Ghostman
You sound like you may be able to answer this,
Read http://www.electro-tech-online.com/...etching-with-nitric-acid.150753/#post-1294020 and didn't want to do a Hijack, so
years ago, I bought a fire pit ring and thought that some color would be nice, so I threw some copper tubing and had some green flames, for a while. Asked a friend about it and he said the copper had glazed over and that it could be removed with muriatic acid, so I put the copper in a bucket and covered it with the acid and left it over night, next fire, the color was back, but I noticed the acid was green, so I threw some of that on the fire and WOW, look at that color, blue, green, turquoise, just beautiful to look at, and makes for some good BS stories for young scouts by scout leaders, I gave some to a friend. I don't even bother with copper to color the fire any more, just "blue fire", as the solution has come to be known as.
My question is what am I getting when I put copper in the hydrochloric acid (the dark brown/green liquid, the light green paste at the bottom), what am I getting as it is 'consumed' by the fire, the color is very prominent when the liquid is added, but dissipates after a while, is it dangerous if you breath in any of the smoke as it burns, is it dangerous to cook over (hot dogs, etc), what's left in the ashes.
Thanks,
Jeff
Ok to answer your Question...

First of all Muriatic Acid is the old name for technical grade Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), if didnt see plumes of white vapour then its likely under 36%, HCl tends to fume a bit when Conc and in contact with moist air.

The reaction with Copper is actually a combination of Copper, Hydrochoric Acid and importantly Oxygen. The Oxygen come from the air, often to speed up the process when making Copper II Chloride, Hydrogen Peroxide is added, but you can also just bubble air in with an aquarium pump. Or as you noted leave long enough exposed to air.

You would have produced various Copper salts, from Copper Oxide etc (from heating the copper, and the fact you may not have reacted all the Oxide leaving over night) to Copper II Chloride.

As you can see from this list
http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/...ame-tests-using-metal-salts?cmpid=CMP00004545

Different metal salts produce different colours, this is often used in something called the flame test. It can give a good indication of what metal salt is in something. So its often a first step in qualitative Chemistry when trying to find what something contains. Be aware that Sodium tends to 'drown' out alot of other colours! So if you have sodium chloride and copper chloride mixed, the chances are you will mostly see yellow. Magnesium and Titanium however, are pretty robust colour wise with nice white light (dont look directly into it).

The solution often gives a better colour because any solids tend to be very fine, so they burn better. Be careful though, if the solution contains Hydrochloric acid, it can be very unpleasant in vapour form. If your really interested in doing this kind of thing, pm me. There are safer ways to do it.

As for Eating................... Personally I would eat food that had been near any chemical residue (a couple of small exceptions), so do the demo in a safe manner AFTER food is consumed :).

Be wary of those that simply state something as fact and dont back it up. I see the other poster came looking for the original thread lol. I have now referenced the threads so hopefully that ends the nonsense.
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
This link actually relates to what you asked regarding the eating, note it says Born and copper are relatively non toxic in fires, and shouldnt be a problem.

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-chemical-turns-fire-green-607319

Honestly though I still wouldnt do it myself. Maybe because I tend to handle toxic chemicals, maybe because I grew up with a Scientist, I dont know, but my own rule is I dont get food near chemicals (apart from Acetic acid and sodium chloride, I love those on fish and chips). :D

hyedenny

I assume this is a sock puppet account? Considering 40 odd (mainly negative) message in 8 years. So your someone who dosnt like to post under there normal account, I cant say I blame you. You write alot like another negative person, hard to respect someone who hides behind a sock puppet.
 
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Superdat

Member
No yet again your wildly off track!!!
What nonsense.
Well hydenny may have overstated the output of the chemical reactions and even been wrong on some points, but I entirely agree with him/her on the irresponsibility being displayed. To throw an unkown concoction created with HCL and CU plus whatever other elements were present is IMO bordering on lunacy.
Ever tried using HCL to clean off the scale in a bath, then take a bath in the residue? It's an excellent exfolliant cleans right down to the bone! Almost all active chemicals are more active when they are hot and fire vapourised is definitely hot. Hot HCL dissolves almost everything and is especially good on human tissue, ask Dr. Cripin, OK he's dead. Even if the HCL is depleated, copper is poisonous and I can't think of a better way of ingesting it than breathing in the hot fumes of copper salts. Copper like lead and a few other heavy metals can build up in the body so its toxicity steadily increases.
Beacuse Muriatic acid (HCL) is readily available doesn't mean it or any of its by products are safe. HCL is used to clean rust creating Ferric Chloride which is used to dissolve copper. If FeCl3 is left open to the air indoors, its vapour will rust any bare steel/iron for yards around. See what I mean?

Stick to knots but best leave out the hangman's noose.
 
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large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Well hydenny may have overstated the output of the chemical reactions and even been wrong on some points, but I entirely agree with him/her on the irresponsibility being displayed. To throw an unkown concoction created with HCL and CU plus whatever other elements were present is IMO bordering on lunacy.
Ever tried using HCL to clean off the scale in a bath, then take a bath in the residue? It's an excellent exfolliant cleans right down to the bone! Almost all active chemicals are more active when they are hot and fire vapourised is definitely hot. Hot HCL dissolves almost everything and is especially good on human tissue, ask Dr. Cripin, OK he's dead. Even if the HCL is depleated, copper is poisonous and I can't think of a better way of ingesting it than breathing in the hot fumes of copper salts. Copper like lead and a few other heavy metals can build up in the body so its toxicity steadily increases.
Beacuse Muriatic acid (HCL) is readily available doesn't mean it or any of its by products are safe. HCL is used to clean rust creating Ferric Chloride which is used to dissolve copper. If FeCl3 is left open to the air indoors, its vapour will rust any bare steel/iron for yards around. See what I mean?

Stick to knots but best leave out the hangman's noose.
To be fair, the OP asked a question on safety. I did point out I wouldnt mix food with chemicals, as to irresponsible its not like he is letting them play with Dynamite. I am not sure scouts were present at the time this was done.

And again to be fair, at least the question was asked, i would see that as being responsible.

HCl on a fire
I cant see this being very conc at the time it was done. As you will be aware HCl conc isnt something you can handle easily, it chokes you with fumes. Vaporising on fire would be an issue, but again the OP would have quickly been aware of the fumes, so I kind of think it wasnt a issue at the time. Again I am not condoning it as a practice, I did give information on making coloured flames and offered further information by PM. Considering flame tests are done routinely in labs without fume cupboards, the toxicity of copper shouldnt come into play unless done a great deal. Safety matters but so does perspective.

The claims for Phosgene etc are simply not credible in the conditions of a camp fire. A supposedly simple method is Chloroform and UV light in the presence of Oxygen, try and produce it though!! Phosgene is possible in very old Chloroform bottles that have no Ethanol added (1%), but its a rare thing in reality. As for HCN.......... We come into contact with that alot via other sources everyday.

Or how about the Billions of particles that get into our blood streams via Diesel engine smoke (pm 10's)?? I am not totally disagreeing with what your saying, but sometimes I feel perspective gets lost in these type of threads. General handling of HCl is perfectly ok if you take a little care, the scrap recovery people do it day in and day out. Making copper Chloride with it is fine, just use sense and do it in a ventilated place outside the house over night. If you want to be really paranoid then do it with the containers, inside a bucket with sodium carbonate on the bottom and a lid on. The fumes from the acid will react with the carbonate and make salt. The cool thing with copper Chloride is once it starts reacting, it gets faster for a while!

The other thread where all this mentioned, it helps to keep in mind that the OP there, is used to handling Sulphuric acid in batteries. I think therefore it was reasonable to give the information out. I hope that helps clarify what I was saying.

LG
 

chemelec

Well-Known Member
Copper like lead and a few other heavy metals can build up in the body so its toxicity steadily increases.
I agree and I find that interesting. Yet we use Copper for water Pipes and up till recently, lead solder to join them.
How much Dissolved Copper have I taken in in my life.
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I agree and I find that interesting. Yet we use Copper for water Pipes and up till recently, lead solder to join them.
How much Dissolved Copper have I taken in in my life.
How long i string? Do you live in a hard or soft water area? If very hard water then your unlikely to have taken very much at all. Then again depends on how much carbonate has furred your pipes, or how much the copper has oxidised...........

PVC pipes are the ones I would worry about ;).
Halogenated plastic..........MMMmmm Yum
 

hyedenny

Active Member
Little Googler takes a little bit of knowledge -- a LITTLE bit -- and goes wild with it. Why is he even trying to defend this?!?! The only thing he's accomplishing is betraying his lack of understanding of chemistry. I realize this is an electronics forum, so maybe he's better versed in electronics than in chemistry.

Commercial phosgene production takes place in almost the exact conditions this bozo "leader" had. Basic stuff.
Cyanide gas is always formed when burning nitrogenous compounds -- especially in the presence of a catalysts (like copper or copper oxide), and especially in an acid environment, and especially at high temperatures. Also basic stuff.

Since when did the number of one's posts relate to one's credibility?! Very amusing.
Instead of calling me cute names (sock puppet?!?!) and acting like a hyperactive schoolyard punk simply because I don't have all day to waste on forums (like some people do), why don't some people spend their time learning something? It'll pay off later. No one ever got a college degree by googling wiki articles. It might also prevent one from defending someone else's irresponsible actions.
 

chemelec

Well-Known Member
How long i string? Do you live in a hard or soft water area? If very hard water then your unlikely to have taken very much at all. Then again depends on how much carbonate has furred your pipes, or how much the copper has oxidised...........

PVC pipes are the ones I would worry about ;).
Halogenated plastic..........MMMmmm Yum
I Also Agree on this, Plastic Pipes are most likely WORSE.

But Consider I am 72 y/o and have drank water from copper pipes, Most of those years.

The Old Steel Pipes were Best for Health, You get a Bit of IRON, when you drank the water from them.
 

hyedenny

Active Member
Cooper IS an essential mineral, but, like anything, too much is toxic. The amount you get from copper pipes is probably about as much as you'd get from any natural source of copper. I know that eating too many cashews can result in copper toxicity!
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Little Googler takes a little bit of knowledge -- a LITTLE bit -- and goes wild with it. Why is he even trying to defend this?!?! The only thing he's accomplishing is betraying his lack of understanding of chemistry. I realize this is an electronics forum, so maybe he's better versed in electronics than in chemistry.

Commercial phosgene production takes place in almost the exact conditions this bozo "leader" had. Basic stuff.
Cyanide gas is always formed when burning nitrogenous compounds -- especially in the presence of a catalysts (like copper or copper oxide), and especially in an acid environment, and especially at high temperatures. Also basic stuff.

Since when did the number of one's posts relate to one's credibility?! Very amusing.
Instead of calling me cute names (sock puppet?!?!) and acting like a hyperactive schoolyard punk simply because I don't have all day to waste on forums (like some people do), why don't some people spend their time learning something? It'll pay off later. No one ever got a college degree by googling wiki articles. It might also prevent one from defending someone else's irresponsible actions.
You might want to look again, calling me names........... Yeah thats really going to get a rise from me. Calling the OP names? REALLY? You think thats called for.

As for google and wiki, I assumed you would likely give that one a shot, so I offered book references (I assume you have access you chemistry texts?), I also gave links to journal articles. So lets here your mechanism for this then. If you struggle doing the half reactions or working out the reactivity give me a shout. I noticed you didnt bother offering any equations or supporting evidence, That does dent your credibility a bit, I dont mind wiki links or journal papers, or chemistry texts. Whatever you have to hand. But do try and make it feasible in a camp fire ;), industry and a lab are different scenarios, so try and keep it real.

The sock puppet comment is relating to the fact I doubt this is your main account. I think you simply use it to try and have a go at people. There used to be alot of that around here, but your a bit late to that party...........Sorry.

So looks like we better ban camp fires, I am amazed more people dont keel over from cyanide poisoning around a camp fire!! I would love to hear from the expert why that is?? So lets start with which cyanide your talking about. The main candidate must be HCN, seeing as its the one normally associated with pyrolysis, but there is a small problem with this situation.... Its formed under low oxygen conditions, not something you normally find in a good camp fire?

You also neglect to mention sources such as Peaches for cyanide, so I assume your letter warning the scout movement of this, will be sent first class in the post?
Seriously though, even in a lab to get even small amounts by pyrolysis is difficult, inert gas atmosphere and around 900C. Also it might have slipped your mind, but normally its associated with Hydrocarbon fuels... But again not that high. Seeing as you dont like wiki, take a look at The formation and destruction of hydrogen cyanide from atmospheric and fuel nitrogen in rich atmospheric-pressure flames, if you dont have access to the full paper, then please feel free to pm me. I am pretty sure I can find a free copy for you somewhere on the net.

Or you might want to let this one go, because the next answer you give, really needs some concrete evidence if your going to call me out on it. Not just words but links etc and a good explanation how you get there in a camp fire.
I cant get upset with you, I know which account you normally use, and to be honest I kninda feel sorry for you. Anyway your choice, show something to back all this up or just let it go. You look silly calling people names, especially when you cant write or explain any formula when you challenge someone.
 

kinarfi

Well-Known Member
Well, Thanks for all the information, this is the most I've ever been able to get or find, as for the scouts, I gave some of my "blue fire" to friend who spun the tale of getting it from an Indian Shaman, excuse me, Native American Medicine Man, and was used during story time, or so he told me, and he's a good story teller!. As for being responsible, why do you think I ask for this information, often, and, from people who have shown some knowledge about these things.
I believe the way I use it is safe enough and doubt it's any more damaging to the environment than shooting a shot gun with lead bbs or even the new environmentally friendly copper coated steel shot. As a young boy, I watched as copper sulfate was dissolved into pond water to help control the the vegetation, moss mostly, but then that was 50+ years ago.
Very interesting,
Thanks,
Jeff
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Copper sulphate is still used in ponds and aquariums! Small amounts do no harm, we still make copper sulphate crystals aged 12 at school. People with axes tend to overstate hidden dangers.

Like most things, do it in moderation and use sense. My thing with food and chemicals comes from my dad, he instilled in me from an early age, never eat or drink in a lab. But like I said above... You cant beat 5% acetic acid with a little Sodium Chloride on your fish and chips :D. Ammonium Chloride is used in some confectionery, but I find it to way to sour for me.

I will pm you some info on coloured flames Jeff, I cant get it from my computer. I need the school system, but basically we have a list of safe (ish) chemicals that are easy to get and make cool colours in flames. Nitrated cotton (flash cotton), soaked and dried in some of them makes a good demo.

Titanium fine powder (not always easy to get), gives really nice bright white light. I find it safer than magnesium but the particles are really hot.
Schools are extremely safety conscious here, but we did the flame colour tests in my first year (around 11 in England and 12 in Scotland). From memory Copper Carbonate is more Green than blue, But I will go check it out later with a bunsen.If you have Hydrochloric acid solution and want to make sure its safe, you can neutralise any acid left with Potassium Carbonate. Dont use baking powder (Sodium Carbonate), the Sodium tends to swamp with a yellow light.

For a while I used Copper Chloride to etch boards with, but now we can only get ~3% Hydrogen peroxide easily in the UK. So I dont bother now as it takes too long in air.
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Do you get much NOx (brown gas) given off? Oddly enough I like the smell of NOx (in tiny trace amounts, a bit like swimming pools to me).
 
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