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What is the (II) beside copper of copper(II) hydroxide?

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yuhao | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted February 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM via web

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What is the (II) beside copper of copper(II) hydroxide?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted February 23, 2013 at 6:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Copper (II) hydroxide is Cu(OH)2.  It is also called cupric hydroxide.  The Roman numeral II denotes the level of positive charge on the copper cation.  Hydroxide (OH) always has a -1 charge, so the two of them are negated by the +2 charge on the copper to make a neutral compound.  Copper as a transition metal can form two different cations, Cu+1 and Cu+2.  The Roman numeral is used to distinguish between the two different possible cations.  If we were talking about CuOH, then the chemical name would be copper (I) hydroxide to denote a +1 charge on the copper.

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