Copper and Nitric Acid

Project Background

This is the very first experiment I performed at home; I was nervous to attempt chemistry by myself for the first time, so I researched heavily the proper personal protection equipment that would be necessary for such a risky project. Although the procedure I wrote to guide the experiment turned out to be quite verbose, it is likely a good thing that I chose to spend so much time writing it that way. I felt prepared by the time I gathered the confidence to handle the mentioned chemicals.



Because the nitric acid was low in concentration, only half of the penny dissolved into solution. The remaining half was unrecognizable, being just a lump of melded copper and zinc; the waste solution turned a light blue color as the reaction ceased.

Penny dissolving in nitric acid