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Thread: Maroon encrustations on my electrode... help!

  1. #1 Maroon encrustations on my electrode... help! 
    New Member
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    Aug 2011
    Hi, I have been trying to make copper sulfate (CuSO4) at home by electrolising sulfuric acid with copper electrodes. The H2SO4 was obtained from a car battery and so should be around 30%.
    The reaction is meant to go like this: Cu + H2SO4 > CuSO4 +2H but although the experiment starts out alright, with hydrogen bubbles coming off one electrode and the solution turning slightly blue eventually Maroon encrustations form on the electrode that had bubbles coming off it. This stops the reaction, presumably because this new compound is not conductive.

    This is not meant to happen! I do not know what went wrong, can anyone explain what the encrustations are and/or how to stop them forming.?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree PetTastic's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    London UK
    Battery acid often contains additives like Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid or magnesium.

    I believe in nothing, but trust gravity to hold me down and the electromagnetic force to stop me falling through
    Physics is the search for the best model not the truth, as only mythical beings know that.
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