Produce CuCl2 from CuSO4


Solution 1

You cannot obtain $\ce{CuCl2}$ mixing $\ce{CuSO4}$ and $\ce{NaCl}$ because both are very soluble, the second strategy seems good because $\ce{CuCO3}$ is insoluble in water, and you can react the new salt with $\ce{HCl}$.

Good luck.

Solution 2

Here's a much more direct method: just add a stoichiometric amount of calcium chloride to a concentrated aqueous solution of copper sulfate:

$$\ce{CuSO4(aq) + CaCl2(aq) -> CaSO4(s) + CuCl2(aq)}$$

If the copper sulfate you have is in the anhydrous form (white powder), then add 695.3 mg of pure $\ce{CaCl2}$ per 1000 mg of pure $\ce{CuSO4}$. If your copper sulfate is in the form of the pentahydrate ($\ce{CuSO4.5H2O}$, striking blue crystals), then add 444.5 mg of pure $\ce{CaCl2}$ per 1000 mg of pure $\ce{CuSO4.5H2O}$.

The low solubility of calcium sulfate (~0.2 g per 100 g of water at 20°C) is what drives the reaction forwards. This double displacement reaction does not happen if you use sodium chloride, because sodium sulfate is highly soluble. Simply filter the solid out and obtain a relatively pure solution of copper(II) chloride, with small amounts of calcium and sulfate contamination. Drying the solution completely will net $\ce{CuCl2}$ crystals.

Solution 3

Try adding pure salt to aqueous CuSO4 and freeze out Glauber's salt (Na2SO4.10H2O):

2 NaCl + CuSO4 (aq) --Freeze--> Na2SO4.10H2O + CuCl2 (aq)

This path avoids the formation of problematic CaSO4 to quote a source (

"Induction time measurements performed by Liu and Nancollas (1973) suggested that the nucleation of gypsum is associated with an appreciable activation barrier, involving a critical nucleus composed of approximately six ions, as predicted based on a “nonclassical nucleation model” introduced by Christiansen and Nielsen (1952)."

The formed CuCl2 can be further purified by concentrating the solution and cooling to collect CuCl2.2H2O.


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Updated on August 01, 2022


  • popgalop
    popgalop 1 day

    I have a large amount of copper sulfate available and I am interested in obtaining copper chloride from it. What is the easiest way to do so?

    I have considered mixing an aqueous solution of copper sulfate with sodium chloride, but I think that it would be difficult to separate the resulting sodium sulfate from the copper chloride. My other idea is to first react the copper sulfate with sodium carbonate and then react the resulting copper carbonate with hydrochloric acid, which would produce copper chloride (the other products would be $\ce{CO2}$ gas and water). I am trying to find a cost effective method for performing this reaction.

  • bon
    bon about 7 years
    Adding conc. $\ce{HCl}$ to $\ce{CuSO4}$ solution will give a yellow solution containing $\ce{[CuCl4]^{2-}}$ ions. It definitely won't produce $\ce{CuCl2}$ as all the ions will stay in solution.
  • khaverim
    khaverim about 7 years
    I thought it may form a more complex ion, thanks. By the way --how does one write subscripts without italicizing (with LaTex)? I'd like to contribute here more often. @bon
  • khaverim
    khaverim about 7 years
    @bon Nevermind, I can see it from your edits, ty
  • bon
    bon about 7 years
    See here for information on formatting.