I wanted to see if I could create a picture by reacting aluminium foil with a solution of copper (II) chloride made at home.
The idea was to scratch the surface of the aluminium foil with a stainless steel sewing needle, thus removing the surface oxide layer and exposing the metal underneath in an etched pattern. I hoped the exposed metal would then react preferentially in a displacement reaction when brought into contact with a solution of copper (II) chloride. I envisaged that copper would be deposited at the scratched areas, ‘painting’ a picture in copper so to speak, on the surface of the aluminium foil. However, things did not turn out quite as I had expected, as can be seen in the series of images below.
At this stage I scratched a pattern into the bottom of an aluminium foil pie dish, as can be seen in the picture above on the left.
I wanted the aluminium to react with the copper (II) chloride producing copper and aluminium chloride. However, the copper (II) chloride solution was still very acidic and I should have predicted what happened next.
At least three chemical reactions took place in the above displacement activity.
Write balanced chemical equations for these reactions:
- copper metal + hydrochloric acid
- aluminium + copper (II) chloride solution
- aluminium + hydrochloric acid
Answers next time.