Copper Acetate

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  • Copper(II) acetate, also referred to as cupric acetate, is the chemical compound with the formula Cu(OAc)2 where OAc is acetate (CH3CO2-).
  • The hydrated derivative, which contains one molecule of water for each Cu atom, is available commercially. Anhydrous Cu(OAc)2 is a dark green crystalline solid, whereas Cu(OAc)2(H2O)2 is more bluish-green. Since ancient times, copper acetates of some form have been used as fungicides and green pigments.
  • Today, copper acetates are used as reagents for the synthesis of various inorganic and organic compounds. Copper acetate, like all copper compounds, emits a blue- green glow in a flame.
  • Copper(II) acetate was historically prepared in vineyards, since acetic acid is a byproduct of fermentation. Copper sheets were alternately layered with fermented grape skins and dregs left over from wine production and exposed to air.
  • This would leave a blue substance on the outside of the sheet. This was then scraped off and dissolved in water. The resulting solid was used as a pigment, or combined with arsenic trioxide to form copper acetoarsenite, a powerful insecticide and fungicide called Paris Green or Schweinfurt Green.
  • Copper forms two series of compounds: copper (I/cuprous) and copper (II/cupric) compounds. Three of the most common copper compounds are copper (II) acetate (CAS 142-71-2), copper (II) chloride (CAS 7447-39-4), and copper (I) cyanide (CAS 544-92-3).
  • Copper acetate takes the form of dark green, monoclinic crystals. It is used as a fungicide, catalyst for organic reactions, pigment for ceramics, insecticide, mildew preventive, preservative for cellulosic materials, stabilizer for polyurethanes and nylons, corrosion inhibitor, and fuel additive.
  • It is used in textile dyeing, anti-fouling paints, electrolysis and electroplating processes, flameproofing, printing and photocopying, and pyrotechnics. It is also used as a "shark chaser," or repellent, developed as part of survival equipment for military personnel who fly over shark-infested waters.
  • Copper acetates are used as an intermediate in the manufacture of Paris green (cupric aceto-arsenite); as a catalyst in a number of organic reactions including rubber ageing; as a chemical in textile dyeing; and as a pigment for ceramics.
  • Copper acetates have also been used for impregnating kraft paper to produce an anti-tarnish wrapping paper for high grade silver ware.
  • It has been previously found in our laboratory that copper complex LHRH (as well as copper acetate introduced into the lateral brain ventricle) displayed convulsive effects in rats.

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