Copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate (CuSO4.5H2O), is a common salt of copper. Copper sulfate is a bright blue, odourless crystalline solid which is soluble in water. The archaic name for copper(II) sulphate is “blue vitriol” or “bluestone”. It has numerous applications including as a fungicide, algaecide, pesticide, laboratory analytical reagent, feed supplement, zinc etching and as a mordant.
Specification for Copper Sulfate:
- Synonyms: Cupric sulphate; sulphuric acid, Copper salt; Blue vitriol; Bluestone; Sulfate de cuivre; Kupfersulfat Pentahydrat;
- Appearance: blue crystals
- Formula: CuSO4 5H2O
- Assay: 98.5% minimum
- Cu: 25%
- CAS No: 7758–99–8
- EINECS No: 231–847–6
- Mol weight: 246.48
- Melting point: 150 C
- Density: 2.28 g/cm3
- Solubility: soluble in water 316 g/L (0C) 2033 g/L (100C)
- pH: 4 at 50 g/L
- Refractive index: 1.514
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How to use copper sulfate for killing Moss:
Copper sulfate kills moss on contact. It is commonly used for treatment of moss on roofs, paths etc but not for grass. For treatment of moss on grass it is best to use Ferrous sulfate.
Mix 5–8g per litre of water. apply this solution at a rate of 1 litre per 5m2. When the moss is dead wash off under high pressure.
How to use copper sulfate for treating algae in ponds, fish tanks and aquariums:
Dissolve 30g of copper sulfate and 30g of citric acid in 1 litre of water. For each 5 litres of pond water add 1 drop of the made up solution (this equates to 0.15ppm). Do not allow levels of copper to exceed 0.20 ppm.
How to use copper sulfate for controlling tree roots in drains & sewers
CLICK HERE to read an aticle on how to contol tree roots in drains etc
Several chemical tests utilize copper sulfate as an indicator. In a flame test its copper ions emit a deep blue-green light. It is used infehlings solution and Benedicts solution to test for reducing sugars, which reduce the soluble blue copper(II) sulfate to insoluble red copper oxide. Copper(II) sulfate is also used in the Biuret reagent to test for proteins.
Copper sulfate is also used to test blood for anemia. A drop of the patient’s blood is dropped into a beaker of copper sulfate solution: if it sinks within a certain time, then the patient has sufficient haemogloblin levels and is not anemic. If the blood floats or sinks too slowly, then the patient is iron-deficient and may be anemic.
Copper sulfate is a commonly included chemical in children’s chemistry sets and is often used in high school crystal growing and copper plating experiments. However due to its toxicity, it is not recommended for small children.
Copper sulfate is often used to demonstrate an exothermic reaction, in which steel wool or magnesium ribbon is placed in an aqueous solution of CuSO4.
It is used in school chemistry courses to demonstrate the principle of mineral hydration. The pentahydrate form, which is blue, is heated, turning the copper sulfate into the anhydrous form which is white, while the water that was present in the pentahydrate form evaporates. When water is then added to the anhydrous compound, it turns back into the pentahydrate form, regaining its blue colour. It can be used to plate metals with copper.
It finds use in agriculture as a fungicide. Mixed with lime it is called Bordeaux mixture, which is used to control fungus on plant leaves, grapes and other berries. Normally it is used as a 1% solution (100g copper sulfate & 100g Lime per 10 litres of water)
Its use as an herbicide is not agricultural, but instead for control of invasive exotic aquatic plants and the roots of other invasive plants near various pipes that contain water.
A very dilute solution of copper sulfate is used to treat aquarium fish of various parasitic infections, and is also used to remove snails from aquariums. However, as the copper ions are also highly toxic to the fish, care must be taken with the dosage. Most species of algae can be controlled with very low concentrations of copper sulfate.
Other uses include: hair dyes, as a fining in winemaking, and the processing of leather and textiles.
Health & Safety
Risk phrases: R22– Harmful if swallowed. R36/38– Irritating to eyes and skin. R50/53– Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.
Safety phrases: S22– Do not breathe dust. S60– This material and its container must be disposed of as hazardous waste. S61– Avoid release to the environment.
For full information see MSDS for copper sulfate pentahydrate above in documents section.
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