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Ball-and-stick model of the tetraamminediaquacopper (II) cation, [Cu(NH3)4(H2O)2]2+

Schweizer's reagent is the common name for the complex tetraamminediaquacopper dihydroxide, [Cu(NH3)4(H2O)2](OH) 2. It is prepared by precipitating copper(II) hydroxide from an aqueous solution of copper sulfate using sodium hydroxide, then dissolving the precipitate in a solution of ammonium hydroxide. It forms a deep azure solution. If the solution is evaporated, it leaves blue, needle-like crystals.

Schweizer's reagent finds use in production of cellulose products such as rayon and cellophane, because wood-pulp, cotton fiber, and other natural cellulose sources are soluble in the solution. Dissolved cellulose precipitates when the solution is acidified.

See also

References

  • Walther Burchard, Norbert Habermann, Peter Klüfers, Bernd Seger, Ulf Wilhelm (1994). "Cellulose in Schweizer's Reagent: A Stable, Polymeric Metal Complex with High Chain Stiffness". Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 33 (8): 884–887. doi:10.1002/anie.199408841.  
  • Eduard Schweizer (1857). "Das Kupferoxyd-Ammoniak, ein Auflösungsmittel für die Pflanzenfaser". J Prakt. Chem. 72 (1): 109–111. doi:10.1002/prac.18570720115.  

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