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February 2013

What Is Copper Carbonate Used For?

When a copper atom loses one or two of its electrons it forms positively charged ions known as Cu+1 and Cu+2. Whilst ordinary copper carbonate contains cupric ion (or Cu+2), it may sometimes contain a chemically similar alkaline component. This substance can actually serve a number of applications around industry and life in general; you probably haven’t realized how many purposes it is utilized in today.

Aesthetic and Practical: This substance has a number of aesthetic purposes, most notably in jewellery. The carbonate can also be converted into the metal version of copper, which is highly valuable and serves a number of its own applications. This is achieved through a process of pulverization, sizing, conversion and electrolysis.

Copper Salts: The substance can be converted into copper salts by mixing it with a stronger acid. The resulting salt is complemented with water and carbon dioxide gas. Mixing the carbonate with acetic acid (otherwise known as vinegar) will produce cupric acid, water and carbon dioxide.

Pigments and Colorants: This substance, when pure, should have a mint green colour. When alkaline components have been added, a tinge of blue will be added to the colour. This is often added to paints, varnishes, pottery glazes and even fireworks to impart some of the colour.

Miscellaneous: Small amounts of copper carbonates are used in a variety of animal feeds and fertilizers. It also plays a major role in the creation of pesticides and fungicides. It can also be used to control the growth and spread of aquatic weeds. It is also a common ingredient in the ammonia compounds that are used to treat timber.

As you can see, copper carbonate has a number of uses across a wide variety of industries and products. There are probably a number of products in your own home that include these substances as one of its ingredients; when you next think of it, take a look at the ingredients list of some items. Can you think of any other applications that are only possible thanks to the inclusion of this highly useful and valuable substance?