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Copper

What is Copper

Copper (pronunciation KOP-er [2]), represented by the chemical symbol or formula Cu [1], is a soft, malleable and ductile element belonging to the family of transition metals [3, 4, 7]. Naturally, occurring Cu is a mixture of 2 stable isotopes with mass numbers 63 and 65 [1, 3]. Besides that, it has 24 synthetic, radioactive isotopes with known half-lives [3]. Under normal conditions, it is stable in air, but in red-hot condition, it reacts with oxygen to form its oxide. It also reacts with halogens and acids [21].

Copper

Where Is It Found

The metal rarely occurs freely in nature. Its principal ores are minerals such as bornite and chalcopyrite. Cu is isolated from these ores by smelting, leaching and electrolysis [1, 3].

Copper Penny

History

Origin of Its Name: The name is derived from its old English name ‘coper’ that is in turn derived from the Latin words ‘Cyprium aes’ that means a metal from Cyprus [1].

Who Discovered Copper: Unknown [1].

When Was It Discovered: In prehistoric times [1].

How Was It Discovered

Historically, Cu was the first metal to be worked by humans. The discovery that it could be hardened by the addition of tin to form the alloy bronze led to the naming of the Bronze Age when it was used in making coins, cutlery and tools. Copper beads excavated from northern Iraq were found to be more than ten thousand years old [1].

Copper Element

Copper Identification

Atomic Number  29 [1]
CAS Number  7440-50-8 [1]
Position in the periodic table Group Period Block
  11 [1] 4 [1] d [1]

Properties and Characteristics of Copper

General Properties

Atomic mass 63.546  atomic mass units [1]
Atomic weight 63.546 [1]
Mass number 63 [3]
Molar mass/molecular weight 63.546 g/mol [20]

Physical Properties

Color/appearance Orange-red [3]
Luster Bright metallic [3]
Melting point/freezing point 1084.62°C, 1984.32°F [1]
Boiling point 2560°C, 4640°F [1]
Density 8.96 g cm-3 [1]
State of matter at room temperature (normal phase) Solid [1]
Thermal Conductivity 385 W/(m K) [8]
Electrical Conductivity 5.96X107S/m [9]
Specific heat capacity 0.385 J/g oC [10]
Specific gravity 8.89 [11]
Resistivity 1.72X10-8 ohm-m [12]
Hardness (Mohs scale) 3 [13]
Yield strength 40-80 MPa [14]
Tensile strength 200 MPa [14]
Temperature coefficient +0.393%/oC [15]
Coefficient of linear expansion 17X10-6/oC [16]

Chemical Properties

Oxidation states/ionic charge 2, 1 [1]
Flammability No [17]

Magnetic Properties

Magnetic ordering Diamagnetic [18]

Atomic Data of Copper (Element 29)

Valence electrons 1 or 2 [5]
Valency +1, +2 [6]
Quantum numbers
– n 3 [7]
– ℓ 2 [7]
– m 2 [7]
– m s [7]
Electron configuration (noble gas configuration) [Ar] 3d104s1 [1]
Crystal structure Face-centered cubic [4]
Lattice constant 361.49, 361.49, 361.49 pm [19]
Atomic structure
– Number of Electrons 29 [3]
– Number of Neutrons 34 [3]
– Number of Protons 29 [3]
Energy levels [3]
– First Energy Level 2
– Second Energy Level 8
– Third Energy Level 18
– Fourth Energy Level 1
Radius of atom
– Atomic Radius 1.96 Å [1]
– Covalent Radius 1.22 Å [1]
Electronegativity (Pauling scale) 1.90 [1]
Ionization energy

(kJmol-1) [1]

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
745.482 1957.919 3554.616 5536.33 7699.5 9938 13411 16017

Copper Electron Configuration (Bohr Model)

Uses of Copper

  1. Commonly used for making coins [1].
  2. For electrical equipment such as motors and wiring due to its high electrical and thermal conductivity [1].
  3. For construction purposes (like plumbing and roofing) and industrial machinery (like heat exchangers) [1].
  4. Copper sulfate finds wide application as an agricultural poison and algaecide in water purification [1].
  5. Copper compounds, for example, Fehling’s solution, are used in chemical tests that detect sugar [1].

Copper Cookware

Is It Dangerous

Though the element is essential to all plants and animals, excess amounts are toxic. Cooking acidic food in copper utensils can cause poisoning. That is why copper cookware should be lined to prevent the ingestion of dangerous verdigris (compounds formed by copper corrosion). An adult human being needs around 1.2 milligrams of copper daily [1, 3]. You can prevent copper deficiency by taking foods high in copper such as whole grains, nuts, beans, potatoes, oysters and other shellfish [22].

Copper Wire

Interesting Facts

  • Unlike human beings that use the iron present in blood hemoglobin to transfer oxygen in their bodies, some crustaceans use copper complexes [1].
  • The surface of copper, when left exposed to air, gradually tarnishes to a dull, brownish color [3].

Copper Metal

Cost of Copper (Cu Element)

The pure metal is priced at $9.76 for every 100 gram and in bulk, the same quantity is worth $0.66 [3].

References

  1. http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/29/copper
  2. https://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele029.html
  3. https://www.chemicool.com/elements/copper.html
  4. https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/cu.htm
  5. https://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/Cu.html
  6. https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/valency-copper-585843
  7. http://chemistry-reference.com/q_elements.asp?Symbol=Cu
  8. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Tables/thrcn.html
  9. https://www.thoughtco.com/table-of-electrical-resistivity-conductivity-608499
  10. http://www.iun.edu/~cpanhd/C101webnotes/matter-and-energy/specificheat.html
  11. https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-gravity-solids-metals-d_293.html
  12. https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/resistor/resistivity.html
  13. http://periodictable.com/Properties/A/MohsHardness.v.html
  14. https://www.kupferinstitut.de/en/materials/material-properties/copper.html
  15. https://www.cirris.com/learning-center/general-testing/special-topics/177-temperature-coefficient-of-copper
  16. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Tables/thexp.html
  17. https://www.teck.com/media/2015-Products-Copper_Metal_SDS_-_2.1.1.pdf
  18. https://www.quora.com/Is-copper-magnetic
  19. http://periodictable.com/Properties/A/LatticeConstants.html
  20. https://www.webqc.org/molecular-weight-of-Cu.html
  21. https://www.webelements.com/copper/chemistry.html
  22. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002419.htm

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