Copper sulfate crystals are among the most beautiful crystals you can grow, but you might not have access to a chemistry lab or want to order the copper sulfate from a chemical supply company. That's okay, because you can make copper sulfate yourself using readily-available materials.
Materials for Making Copper Sulfate
There are actually a few different ways you can make copper sulfate yourself. This method relies on a little electrochemistry to get the job done. You will need:
- copper wire - which is high purity copper
- sulfuric acid - H2SO4 - battery acid
- 6-volt battery
- Fill a jar or beaker with 5 ml concentrated sulfuric acid and 30 ml of water. If your sulfuric acid solution is already diluted, add less water.
- Set two copper wires into the solution so that they are not touching each other.
- Connect the wires to a 6-volt battery.
- The solution will turn blue as copper sulfate is produced.
Collect Your Copper Sulfate
You can boil the copper sulfate solution to recover your copper sulfate. Because the solution contains sulfuric acid, you won't be able to boil the liquid off completely (and you need to take care not to touch the liquid, which will become concentrated acid). The copper sulfate will precipitate out as a blue powder. Pour off the sulfuric acid and reuse it to make more copper sulfate!
If you would prefer to have copper sulfate crystals, you can grow them directly from the blue solution that you prepared. Just allow the solution to evaporate. Again, use care in recovering your crystals because the solution is very acidic.