Homework Help

There is a peice of a copper wire in an aqueous solution. Upon closer expection, you...

user profile pic

danielb77 | Valedictorian

Posted March 27, 2013 at 9:53 PM via web

dislike 0 like

There is a peice of a copper wire in an aqueous solution. Upon closer expection, you realize the copper has a hard, metallic, substance coating it. Propose what might have happened. Include an example of a possible chemical reaction.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

tjbrewer | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted March 27, 2013 at 10:48 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

It sounds like the copper was placed in an solution of an ionic compound with a metal less reactive than copper.  A displacement reaction occurs, the copper replaces the metal in the solution, and the other metal forms an insoluble precipitate around the copper. 

A popular demonstration of this exact type of reaction is to place copper in a Silver Nitrate solution.  2AgNO3(aq) + Cu(s) ------>Cu(NO3)2(aq) + 2Ag(s) The Silver precipitates out slowly forming flakes around the Copper and the solution turns blue as it is now a Copper (II) Nitrate solution.  I did this in High School. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes