Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Wendy L. Elcesser, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Keith S. Kyler, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lawrence Kupchella, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Charles H. Lake, Ph.D.

Abstract

The focus of this research is to follow the oxidation-reduction reaction of solid magnesium metal and an aqueous solution of copper (II) chloride (CuCl2), both with and without the addition of hydrochloric acid (HCl), and separately with sodium chloride (NaCl). When magnesium is added to CuCl2, the reaction does not occur in the predicted straightforward single displacement model to produce magnesium chloride and copper metal. A single displacement reaction may occur, but the reaction first goes through some transitions (including competing side reactions) before the final product of elemental copper is formed. An important purpose of this project is to identify different intermediates through which copper proceeds as this reaction takes place. Copper hydroxide chloride compounds, belloite (Cu(OH)Cl) and paratacamite (Cu2(OH)3Cl), are intermediates that form when the two reactants combine, with and without a chloride source, respectively. Elemental copper forms when magnesium reacts with Cu2(OH)3Cl.

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