Dissolve copper


There are requirements where copper has to be dissolved. Depending on the process, this results in different copper salts or copper sulfate. What methods there are to loosen copper and what is to be considered, we have summarized in this guide for you.

Solve copper for different reasons

Copper is a non-ferrous metal that is commonly used. However, it may be necessary to dissolve the copper for various reasons:

  • Copper should be separated from other metals
  • it requires copper sulfate
  • it will need the or certain copper salts

Separate copper from other metals

The separation of other metals is not possible with conventional methods (oxidizing acids), if the other metals are to be preserved. As a rule, copper represents the nobler metal. That is, the other, less noble metals would dissolve before the copper. Thus, a method must be used which is also used for dissolving copper for the purpose of recovering copper sulfate.

Dissolve copper to recover copper sulfate

Copper sulfate is relatively easy to produce by dissolving copper in hydrogen peroxide. The chemical equation is: Cu (copper) + H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) + H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) leads to CuSO4 (copper sulfate) + 2 H2O (double water molecules). The sulfuric acid should be 30, a maximum of 50 percent concentrated, the hydrogen peroxide maximum 30 percent.

Each gram of copper requires 2.2 ml of 50% or 4.0 ml of 30% sulfuric acid, and at least 1.8 g of hydrogen peroxide, but better still 2 g. Since it would come to a violent exothermic reaction, if everything is poured immediately on the copper, the solution is introduced in up to 10 steps. In between, wait three to five minutes to prevent boiling of the solution.

The solution is left to stand overnight and stirred again the next day to remove any remaining copper. Then the solution is filtered through a paper filter into a separate container. Subsequently, the copper sulfate crystals are rinsed with ethanol (alcohol) until it passes clearly through the filter. Now the copper sulfate is dried.

Dissolve copper to recover copper salts

When winning the copper salts, the procedure is similar. However, instead of the sulfuric acid any other acid (hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, formic acid) is used, otherwise it remains with hydrogen peroxide. Per gram of copper, 3 ml of hydrochloric acid (33 percent) or 1.7 ml of 50 percent acetic acid would be used. Hydrogen peroxide in the amount already mentioned.

Tips & Tricks

However, acids are not only used to dissolve copper. You can also use acids to etch copper.


Video Board: Dissolving Copper in Nitric Acid!