What is CuO?

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What is CuO?
Are you looking for a pigment for ceramics that will produce blue, red, and green glazes? Or you want to make dry cell batteries? I know what you need; it’s Copper (II) Oxide.

Copper (II) Oxide (CuO), also known as Cupric Oxide, is a black powder called as tenorite.  It melts up to 2192°F (1200°C). It is acquired by heating copper carbonate or copper nitrate by 800°C

Here is the chemistry on how extract it from copper nitrate:
2 Cu(NO3)2 â†’ 2 CuO + 4 NO2 + O2
In copper carbonate:
CuCO3 â†’ CuO + CO2

Cupric Oxide is a basic and higher level of Copper. It dissolves hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and other mineral acids. That explains some of it, but there are lots of processes on it.

As stated above, Cupric Oxide is used as a tint for ceramics. It is also used to create cuprammonium hydroxide solutions, and used to produce rayon. Though it is used to create dry cell batteries, it is also used as cathode to make wet cell batteries.

Other use for this is that you can swap copper (ii) oxide for iron oxide in thermite; turning the thermite into a low explosive. So handle with care.

Also, you can use cupric oxide to make other copper salts that can be used for wielding copper alloys. Occasionally, it is also used as a dietary supplement for animals in case of copper deficiency.
Cupric Oxide is known to be a hazardous material and it must be safely disposed through oxidation.

Here is an equation representing the decomposition of phenol and pentachlorophenol.
C6H5OH + 14CuO → 6CO2 + 3H2O + 14Cu

C6Cl5OH + 2H2O + 9CuO → 6CO2 + 5HCl + 9Cu

What makes Copper (II) Oxide hazardous?
A small contact of Cupric Oxide with the eye or skin may cause excruciating irritation. It may harm the central nervous system. Exposure to cupric oxide may result to nausea, vomiting, and metallic taste. In severe cases, it may cause blood vomiting or black stools. The blood cells will eventually rupture resulting into circulatory collapse or shock.

Breathing the gas produced during smelting of cupric oxide powder can cause harm to the lungs and septum and another thing is the disease called the ‘metal fume fever’. It causes flu-like symptoms, so you should wear protective gas mask whenever performing processes stated above.

Cupric Oxide powder should be handled in a spacious area. You must be aware that this is a hazardous chemical and you must proceed with caution. Keep your safety gear equipped and you should be fine.
Even though cupric oxide is hazardous to health, it is also used for supplements. Copper is an important element in our body. It includes the nervous system, immune system, heart and skin.

Ironic, is it not? The thing that might kill us might be the one keeping us alive. Every result of whatever processes we undergo, we will always be held accountable whether it is for good or not.

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