Electrochemical syntheses of copper(II) nitrate trihydrate
Into an apparatus as illustrated in the following, pour into the anode compartment a salt solution prepared by adding and dissolving 200 grams (7 oz.) of sodium nitrate into 600 milliliters (20.2 fluid oz.) of water.
Thereafter, pour into the cathode compartment, a salt solution prepared by adding and dissolving 500 grams (17.6 oz.) of Epsom salt (agnesium sulfate) into 1700 milliliters (57.5 fluid oz.) of water. Thereafter, put in place the electrodes as illustrated, and then attach the power clamps; thereafter, turn on the power supply and electrolysize the cell at 6 to 12 volt at 6 amp DC for 24 hours. After about 24 hours, discontinue the power supply, open the cell, remove the electrodes, and then pull-out the clay pot and pour its contents into a clean beaker. Thereafter, filter this anode liquid to remove insoluble impurities, and then pour the filtered anode liquid onto a shallow pan, and allow it to air evaporate; whereby beautiful bluish glistening crystals are obtained; keep in amber glass bottles sealed air-tight and store in a cool dry place. The cathode liquid will contain allot of white precipitate of magnesium hydroxide, which can be collected by filtration if desired; after removing the insoluble magnesium hydroxide, the filtered liquid will contain dissolved sodium sulfate decahydrate, which can be collected by “low heat evaporation” if desired or simply discarded. Final note: Now that you’re familiar with electrolysis, it’s time for you to go out on your own, and experiment with different anodes and cathodes of a wide variety of metals, graphite, and even special conductive polymers or ceramics and different chemicals (electrolytes). Many different electrolytes can be used such as bromides, iodides, fluorides, nitrates of various metals, permanganates of various metals, alkali hydroxides, chromates, dichromates, a variety of chlorides including chlorides of nickel, zinc, copper, iron, chromium, aluminum, and magnesium, water soluble sulfides, sulfates of a variety of metals, and water soluble organic compounds containing one or more metals such as acetates. Also, you can carryout special reactions using water-soluble organic compounds such as alcohols as seen in the preparation of isopropyl hypochlorite. In either case, whether using open cells or divided cells, the combinations and possibilities are virtually endless, and electrochemical reactions can produce some fascinating results and products so use your imagination and see what you can come up with. Note: in open cells, the reactions prefer reduction, and in divided cells reactions favor oxidation. Now get out there and explore the fascinating world of electrochemical chemistry!
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