The Amateur Chemist

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Synthesis of Copper Cyanurate


This copper compound is a beuatiful light purple color that is highly unusual for copper compounds. This compound has actually been known for quite a while to people who own fountains or pools with copper in them. If they chlorinate the water with Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate, then that chemical will very slowly react with the copper to form the compound Copper Cyanurate, thereby giving the copper a purplish hue.  


Copper Sulfate  (Can be found as "Root Killer" at any hardware store)

Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate (Used as a chlorinator for pools, commonly called "Shock Treatment")



Simply mix equal size solutions of the copper sulfate and the Sodium Di... together. If the solutions are concentrated, then the copper cyanurate will precipitate out immediatly. If it is more dilute, it may take a bit longer, but it will precipitate out of solution. In fact, I have found it is much easier to filter and dry is the solutions are quite dilute. The copper cyanurate will settle out much better that way too, and you can pour off most of the top solution.

Once the solutions are mixed, then filter it. I usually use a vacuum filter since they are so much faster, but a gravity filter would probably work as well. Finally, rinse it with water a few times as you're filtering it to get rid of any impurities (most likely copper sulfate). Then simply put it someplace warm and let it dry. Once it's dry, crush it into a fine powder and store it away.

If, after adding the two solutions together and letting the copper cyanurate settle out, the liquid still apears to be quite blue from excess copper sulfate, then you can mix some more sodium dichloroisocyanurate up and pour that into it. You can keep doing this until the liquid is almost clear. I have found that you usually need quite a bit more sodium dichloroisocyanurate than you do copper sulfate.