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Copper(II) nitrate
Copper nitrate.png
IUPAC name
Other names Cupric nitrate
CAS number 3251-23-8 Yes check.svgY
RTECS number GL7875000
ChemSpider ID 17582
Molecular formula Cu(NO3)2
Molar mass 187.56 g/mol (anhydrous)
241.60 g/mol (trihydrate)
295.65 g/mol (hexahydrate)
Appearance blue crystals
Density 3.05 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
2.32 g/cm3 (trihydrate)
2.07 g/cm3 (hexahydrate)
Melting point

256 °C (anhydrous, decomp)
114 °C (trihydrate)
26 °C (hexahydrate, decomposes)

Boiling point

170 °C (trihydrate, decomposes)

Solubility in water 137.8 g/100 mL (0 °C) (trihydrate)
Solubility hydrates very soluble in ethanol, water
Crystal structure orthorhombic (anhydrous)
rhombohedral (hydrates)
MSDS Cu(NO3)2·3H2O
EU Index Not listed
Main hazards Toxic, irritant
Related compounds
Other anions Copper(II) sulfate
Copper(II) chloride
Other cations Nickel(II) nitrate
Zinc nitrate
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Copper(II) nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula Cu(NO3)2. Commonly referred to simply as copper nitrate, the anhydrous form is a blue, crystalline solid. Hydrated forms of copper nitrate, also blue, are commonly used in school laboratories to demonstrate chemical voltaic cell reactions. The Roman numeral sign is to specify that the copper has an oxidation state of +2.


Synthesis and reactions

Cu(NO3)2 forms when copper metal is treated with N2O4:[1]

Cu + 2 N2O4 → Cu(NO3)2 + 2 NO

Hydrated copper nitrate can be prepared by hydrolysis of the anhydrous material or by treating copper metal with an aqueous solution of silver nitrate or concentrated nitric acid:

Cu + 4 HNO3 → Cu(NO3)2 + 2 H2O + 2 NO2

Copper nitrate can be used to generate nitric acid by heating it until decomposition and passing the fumes directly into water. This method is similar to the last step in the Ostwald process. The equations are as follows:

2 Cu(NO3)2 → 2 CuO + 4 NO2 + O2
3NO2 + H2O → 2HNO3 + NO

Use in organic synthesis

Copper nitrate, in combination with acetic anhydride, is an effective reagent for nitration of aromatic compounds, under what are known as "Menke conditions", in honor of the Dutch chemist who discovered that metal nitrates are effective reagents for nitration.[2] Hydrated copper nitrate absorbed onto clay affords a reagent called "Claycop". The resulting blue-colored clay is used as a slurry, for example for the oxidation of thiols to disulfides. Claycop is also used to convert dithioacetals to carbonyls.[3] A related reagent based on Montmorillonite has proven useful for the nitration of aromatic compounds.[4]


  1. ^ Jolly, W. L. "The Synthesis and Characterization of Inorganic Compounds" Prentice Hall, London, 1970
  2. ^ Menke J.B. (1925). "Nitration with nitrates". Recueil des Travaux Chimiques des Payes-Bas 44: 141.  
  3. ^ Balogh, M. "Copper(II) Nitrate–K10 Bentonite Clay" in Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (Ed: L. Paquette) 2004, J. Wiley & Sons, New York. DOI: 10.1002/047084289.
  4. ^ Collet, C.; Delville, A.; Laszlo, P. “Clays Direct Aromatic Nitration” Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English, 2003, Volume 29, Issue 5 , Pages 535 - 536. doi:10.1002/anie.199005351.

External links

Simple English

Copper(II) nitrate

Copper(II) nitrate, also known as cupric nitrate, is a chemical compound. Its chemical formula is Cu(NO3)2. It contains copper in its +2 oxidation state. It also contains nitrate ions.



Copper(II) nitrate is a blue solid. It is an oxidizing agent. It is blue whether it contains water (hydrated) or not (anhydrous). It makes nitrogen dioxide when it is heated.


It is made by reacting copper with nitrogen tetroxide. It can also be made by reacting copper with nitric acid or silver nitrate.


It can be used to make nitric acid by heating it. Then the brown gas made is dissolved in water to make nitric acid. It can be used to add nitrate ions to organic chemicals.


Copper ions are toxic, like many other metals. Nitrates are oxidizing agents and can make things burn.

See also

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