Copper Dichloride

What is Copper Dichloride?

Copper is one of the essential metals out there. It has a reddish appearance and a bright blue metallic hue. Copper got first found approximately 10,000 years ago, and as you must already know, it’s a great heat conductor. Now, talking about copper dichloride, it’s light brown when anhydrous, and it slowly absorbs the moisture to become bluish-green dihydrate. It’s a chemical compound having a chemical formula CuCl2. Both of its anhydrous and the dehydrate forms take place naturally as the unique minerals tolbachite and eriochalcite. Today, you can learn about the properties of copper dichloride, its uses, formation, and many more things.  

Basics of Copper (II) Chloride

Copper dichloride, also known as cupric chloride, is a chemical compound. It occurs naturally as an anhydrous mineral being tolbachite, and dihydrate mineral being eriochalcite. The compound appears yellowish-brown in its anhydrous form, and it appears green crystalline solid in its dihydrate state.

The oxidation state of the metal is +2, and it is corrosive to aluminum. It has a chemical formula CuCl2, and the compound has major applications in printing, dyeing, in fungicides, and as a food preservative. The number of hydrogen bond acceptors is zero, and the number of hydrogen bond donors is zero as well. The compound gets canonicalized and has a single covalently bonded unit. Below is the structure of CuCl2

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Properties of Copper Dichloride 

  • The chemical formula of copper dichloride is CuCl2. It is light yellowish-brown when anhydrous and becomes green when hydrated. 

  • Its molecular mass is 134.45 g/mol (anhydrous), and its density is 3.386 g/cm3 (anhydrous). 

  • It is soluble in water and forms a blue solution. When more chlorine gets added, it turns green and then yellow. 

  • The melting point of sodium chloride is 4980C when anhydrous, and the boiling point is 9930C. When heated in a flame, CuCl2 releases blue flames.   

  • It’s a weak oxidizing agent, and it reacts with aluminum foil to produce hydrogen, copper (I) oxide, and aluminum chloride. It reacts with metals to give metal chlorides and copper. 

  • Upon heating, it releases chlorine and turns into copper (I) chloride. Upon reacting with sodium hydroxide, it gives out sodium (II) hydroxide.  

Uses of Copper Dichloride 

  • Copper dichloride gets used as a catalyst for inorganic and organic reactions. It helps as a catalyst in the production of chlorine from hydrogen chloride.  

  • It acts as a mordant for dyeing and printing textiles. It gets used in the petroleum industry as a purifying agent. 

  • It provides pigments for glass and ceramics; it also gets used in wood preservatives, insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide.  

  • Further, it also gets used in the manufacturing of indelible, invisible, and laundry marking inks. It also helps with photography. 

  • In metallurgy, it helps to recover mercury from ores, in refining copper, silver, and gold, in tinting baths for iron and tin.  

Facts about CuCl2

  • Water content is responsible for the color of copper dichloride. When it’s in anhydrous form, it is yellowish-brown powder. When it does contain a water molecule in dihydrate form, it is green crystalline solid. 

  • Copper dichloride helps us celebrate Diwali as it gets used in the production of fireworks. During explosive celebrations of Diwali, it’s CuCl2 that creates blue and green hues in the sky and makes it colorful.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: What are the Health Hazards of Copper Dichloride? 

Answer: Depending on the amount and length of exposure to copper dichloride, you may suffer from short-term as well as chronic health dangers. Below are some short-term health effects. 

  • Contact with cupric chloride can irritate the skin and eyes; it may even cause eye damage. 

  • Inhaling the compound can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs, further leading to coughing. 

  • Upon consumption, the CuCl2 can irritate your stomach, causing salivation, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhea.  

Upon excess exposure to copper chloride, its ill-effects can last from months up to years. A repetitive exposure can make the skin thick and cause the greenish appearance to skin and hair. It may also shrink the inner lining of the nose, cause ulcers and damage kidneys and liver. 

Question 2: How Does Copper Dichloride Get Formed?  

Answer: Copper dichloride gets prepared by reaction of copper with chloride. Commercially, it gets formed by the chlorination of copper. It is also possible to obtain copper dichloride by reacting copper (II) oxide, copper (II) hydroxide, or copper (II) carbonate with hydrochloric acid and. It can also get prepared from pure copper and from 1:1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid. Here, the copper first gets oxidized to CuO from H2O2, and then it reacts with HCl to form CuCl2. Below are the reactions that take place during the process:

Cu + H2O2 → CuO + H2

CuO + 2HCl → CuCl2 + H2O