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COPPER (CU)
-Latin origin -(cuprum) Roman town of Cyprus
-Similar to Ag, Au
-Pure copper is pink/ copper exposed to air
(oxidized) is reddish orange
-Ductile/ high Thermal and Electrical
conductivity
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

Cu+1 (cuprous), Cu+2 (cupric), Cu+3, Cu+4
Water-Soluble Reacts w/ atmospheric Oxygen
Copper Corrosion
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
Oxygen-containing ammonia solutions give
water-soluble complexes with copper
 Hydrochloric acid/hydrogen peroxide also react
with copper chlorides to form copper(II) salts
 Copper(II) chloride and copper (+0)
comproportionate to form copper(I) chloride

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Most copper (Copper Sulfide) is extracted from
large open pit mines
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Crushed ores are subjected to froth flotation or
bioleaching
Heating the material with silica removes the iron
slag and drops the copper matte to the bottom
The copper matte is roasted to oxidize the sulfides
The resulting blister copper is heated and blown with
natural gas to remove oxygen
Electro-refining (electro-platting) the im-pure copper
produces pure copper
PRODUCTION HISTORY
Copper sulfides
Copper carbonates
Copper Oxides
USES AND APPLICATIONS

Bronze Age- (Alloying of copper with zinc or tin to
make brass and bronze) right after the
Chalcolithic age
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Currency
Construction
Electrical Wires
Machinery
Fungicide
Antimicrobial
Weapons/Tools
Art Sculptures
Roofing/Plumbing
Wood Preservative
Biostatic Property
Antibiofouling
MODE OF ENTRY INTO AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT
Copper Water Pipes
 Contaminated Drinking water (excess CuS)
 Runoff ladened w/excess CuS sprayed on fruits
and vegetables
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REACTIVITY W/ WATER AND OTHER PROP.

Dissolved in Water
In form of salts
 Cu+3 and +4 form fluoride complexes

o29 Isotopes of copper
•63Cu,65Cu are stable (63Cu 69% of naturally
occurring)
•67Cu and above,64Cu and below are very unstable
•68mCu (3.8 min half-life)
o62Cu and 64Cu have significant applications. 64Cu
used in X-ray imaging and treating cancer
TOXICITY TO AQUATIC LIFE
Copper strongly adsorbs into organic matter
making it an effective algaecide
 At acute toxic levels, copper effects fish,
invertebrates, and amphibians equally
 The deleterious effects of copper are seen more
commonly in the organs of aquatic organisms
than terrestrial organisms

mollusks have a higher potential to bioconcentrate
copper than do fish
 effects on bird growth rates and egg production

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Requires high concentrations to effect mammals
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liver cirrhosis, kidney necrosis, brain necrosis, and
even fetal mortality can occur
MODES OF TOXICITY
Essential in hemocyanin and cytochrome c
oxidase in aerobic respiration
 Acute toxic levels enter the organism through
ingestion from food or water
 Free copper causes toxicity as it generates
reactive oxygen species; superoxide, hydrogen
peroxide, the hydroxyl radical


These damage proteins, lipids and DNA
MODES OF TOXICITY

Redox Cycling of Cu(II) in the body
Cu(II) strongly catalyzes the oxidation of TBHQ to
TBQ
 TBQH comes from BHA; a food preservative and
possible antioxidant
 However, oxidation of TBQH produces reactive
oxidative species H(2)O(2)
 Leads to extensive DNA strand breaks
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butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
2-tert-butyl(1,4)hydroquinone (TBHQ)
2-tert-butyl(1,4)paraquinone (TBQ)
BIOCHEMICAL METABOLISM

Alterations in the levels of glycerol,
phospholipids, glycerides, sterols, sterol esters
and free fatty acids due to copper sulphate
treatment in mantle and digestive gland of
mollusc
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Possible mechanism of detoxification, prevalent in
this fresh water mollusc
Mammals have efficient mechanisms to regulate
copper such that they are generally protected
from excess dietary copper levels
MODES OF DETOXIFICATION

Metallothionein
Localized in the Golgi apparatus and a cysteine-rich
protein
 Capacity to bind heavy metals through the thiol
group of its cysteine residues
 Provides regulation of physiological heavy metals
(Cu, Zn)
 Therefore, may protect against oxidative stress
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COPPER AS A POSSIBLE DETOXIFIER OF
HALOGENATED COMPOUNDS

Fenton's reaction for degradation of
perchloroethene (volatile organic compound)
Copper accelerates the reaction of iron (III)with
hydrogen peroxide to generate increased amounts of
hydroxyl and superoxide radicals
 These radicals can react with a variety of VOCs and
mineralize them
 Enabling targeted VOC extraction from effected
areas
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
Slide 1: Inorganic Chemistry. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001
S2: Inorganic Chemistry. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001
S3: Nature's building blocks: an A-Z guide to the elements., Oxford
University Press. pp. 121–125; 2011
S4: Chemistry of the Elements., 2nd ed. Oxford; 1997
S5: The Elements, in Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 81st edition.
S6: Encyclopedia of the History of Technology. London ; New York:
Routledge. pp. 13;48–66
S7: Copper Toxicity., The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and
Bioenergetics; 1999
S8: Evaluation of Nuclear and Decay Properties., Nuclear Physics A.,
Atomic Mass Data Center; 729
S9: Principles of bioinorganic chemistry., University Science Books:1994
S10: DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species originating from a
copper-dependent oxidation of the 2-hydroxy catechol of estradiol.
Carcinogenesis 15 (7): 1421–142
S11: Copper redox-dependent activation of 2-tert-butyl(1,4)hydroquinone:
formation of reactive oxygen species and induction of oxidative DNA
damage in isolated DNA and cultured rat hepatocytes. Mutat Res. 2002 Jul
25;518(2):123-33
S12: SUS Environmental Protection Agency.,
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/copper-alloy-products.htm
S13: Metallothioneins and Related Chelators. Metal Ions in Life Sciences. 5.
Cambridge: RSC Publishing., Sigel, A.; Sigel, H.; Sigel, R.K.O., ed (2009)
S14: A possible mechanism of detoxification of copper, in the fresh water
mollusc, Lymnaea luteolaPhysiol Pharmacol. 1993 Oct-Dec

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