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By trunnano | 10 April 2024 | 0 Comments

The Difference Between Copper Oxide and Cuprous Oxide

Copper oxide and cuprous oxide are two important compounds with wide applications. Although they all belong to the copper oxide family, there are significant differences in their properties, uses, and preparation methods. 

Firstly, from the perspective of chemical composition and structure, the chemical formula of copper oxide is CuO, which is a black powdery solid. It belongs to typical alkaline oxides and can react with acids to produce corresponding copper salts and water. The chemical formula of cuprous oxide is Cu2O, which is a red or dark red crystalline powder. It is a typical alkaline oxide that disproportionates into divalent copper and copper elemental in acidic solutions and gradually oxidizes into black copper oxide in humid air.

Secondly, from a physical perspective, copper oxide is insoluble in water, insoluble in ethanol, and soluble in acid, ammonium chloride, and potassium cyanide solutions. When heated to 1800 ℃, it decomposes to form cuprous oxide. Cuprous oxide is insoluble in water, soluble in hydrochloric acid to form cuprous chloride, copper chloride, and water, soluble in potassium cyanide and sodium thiosulfate solutions, and insoluble in alcohol and ammonia water.
In terms of preparation methods, copper oxide can be obtained by heating copper powder in air or reacting with oxygen, water, or carbon dioxide. Cuprous oxide can be obtained by thermal decomposition of copper (II) salts, such as copper carbonate, copper nitrate, or copper hydroxide. In addition, copper nitrate can also be prepared by reducing it with glucose.
Copper oxide and cuprous oxide have extensive applications in multiple fields, each with unique properties and uses.

The application of copper oxide is very extensive. Firstly, in the industrial field, copper oxide is often used as a desulfurizer for oils, helping to achieve clean production of oil products. In addition, copper oxide is also widely used in the power industry, especially in the manufacturing of power electronic equipment. In the field of batteries, copper oxide as a raw material helps to improve the battery's endurance and energy density. Meanwhile, copper oxide serves as a polishing agent in optical glass processing, which can enhance the gloss and transparency of the glass. In the metallurgical industry, copper oxide is used to make various metallurgical equipment due to its high corrosion resistance and heat resistance. In addition, copper oxide is also used as an organic synthesis catalyst, analytical reagent, and raw material for artificial silk manufacturing, demonstrating its multifunctionality in multiple fields.

And cuprous oxide also has its unique application areas. It is mainly used to manufacture anti-fouling paint on the bottom of ships to kill low-level marine animals. In addition, cuprous oxide is also used as a raw material for insecticides, red glass manufacturing, and in the preparation of copper plating and copper alloy plating solutions. In the field of chemistry, cuprous oxide is used to catalyze many organic reactions, such as oxidation, hydrogenation, dehydrogenation, etc., due to its excellent catalytic effect. Meanwhile, cuprous oxide is also an important electronic material that can be used to manufacture electronic devices such as batteries, solar cells, and LEDs. In the field of medicine, cuprous oxide also has certain applications and can be used as a raw material for antibiotics, analgesics, and other drugs.

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