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Copper(II) nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula Cu(NO3)2. Commonly referred to simply as copper nitrate, the anhydrous form is a blue, crystalline solid. Hydrated forms of copper nitrate, also blue, are commonly used in school laboratories to demonstrate chemical voltaic cell reactions. The hydrated and anhydrous species have remarkably different properties, illustrating the effect of water of crystallization.
The Roman numeral sign is to specify that the copper has an oxidation state of +2.
Additional recommended knowledge
Hydrated and anhydrous copper nitrates behave differently.
The bright blue anhydrous material, Cu(NO3)2, is a volatile solid, subliming in a vacuum. In the gas-phase, Cu(NO3)2 is square planar, each Cu center being surrounded by four oxygen atoms. Upon condensation, this monomer polymerizes.
Hydrated copper nitrate
Copper nitrate can be used to generate nitric acid by heating it until decomposition and passing the fumes directly into water. This method is similar to the last step in the Ostwald process. The equations are as follows:
Copper nitrate soaked splints of wood burn with an emerald green flame. Addition of Magnesium nitrate gives a lime green color.
It can also be formed by reacting copper metal with an aqueous solution of silver nitrate, see this page for more info.
Use in organic synthesis
Copper nitrate, in combination with acetic anhydride, is an effective reagent for nitration of aromatic compounds, under what are known as "Menke conditions", in honor of the Dutch chemist who discovered that metal nitrates are effective reagents for nitration. Hydrated copper nitrate absorbed onto clay affords a reagent called "claycop". The resulting blue clay is used as a slurry, for example for the oxidation of thiols to disulfides. Claycop is also used to convert dithioacetals to carbonyls. A related reagent based on Montmorillonite has proven useful for the nitration of aromatic compounds.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Copper(II)_nitrate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.