Copper oxychloride is a green powder used as blue color agent, is a basic copper chloride and is usually manufactured either by the action of hydrochloric acid on copper metal or by the air oxidation of cuprous chloride suspensions. It has a number of applications, by far the most important being as an agricultural fungicide, for which purpose it is extensively employed in formulated form as dusts, wettable powders and pastes.
Copper oxychloride can be produce easily at home from metallic copper. First, the electrolysis of copper anode in KCl/NaCl solution, will yield copper I oxide (red). The oxide is washed to remove alkali ion by repeated decantations. Then hydrochloric acid is mixed with the washed oxide in a very stochiometric quantity. Not enough is best and easier but yield impure end product. The solution is then bubbled through with air to convert CuCl to Oxychloride and CuCl2 following this reaction:
- 6 CuCl + 3/2 O2 + 3 H2O → 2 Cu3Cl2(OH)4 + CuCl2
This process can take more than 2 day with an aquarium pump. Be sure to recover and boil down CuCl2 produce too.
Harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Overexposure can lead to nausea, diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, weakness, and possible liver and kidney damage. May cause irritation of eyes, nasal passages, throat and skin.