Making Metals

We have probably all carried out the reduction of Copper Oxide using Carbon at some time, maybe to show the reactivity series or maybe to talk about redox. I was wondering though if this could be used as a quantitative IA lab, ‘Calculate the % Yield of Copper Produced From The Reduction of Copper Oxide With Carbon? (To assess DCP and CEv maybe?)


If one knows the mass of Copper Oxide, one should be able to calculate the theoretical mass of Copper that could be produced. The problem, I feel, is designing a suitable method to separate the excess Carbon from the Copper at the end of the lab (solutions to this problem would be greatfully accepted!). I then hit on this Youtube video and think that I have an answer!

Instead of measuring the mass of Copper, could the mass of Calcium Carbonate (ie, the milky precipitate) be used instead. As the ratio of Carbon Dioxide to Copper will be 1:1, by using the mass of Calcium Carbonate produced one could calculate the mass of Copper produced.

How could you work out the mass of Calcium Carbonate produced? I am guessing that a sensitive enough balance would allow you to work out the increase in mass of a test tube containing Limewater or, more crudely, youcould fliter and dry (gently – why?) the precipitate.

I’ll let you know if it works! 😎

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