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Application of Copper Sulphate

As a fungicide and herbicide

  • Copper sulfate pentahydrate is used as a fungicide. However, some fungi are capable of adapting to elevated levels of copper ions.
  • Bordeaux mixture, a suspension of copper(II) sulfate (CuSO4) and calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), is used to control fungus on grapesmelons, and other berries. It is produced by mixing a water solution of copper sulfate and a suspension of slaked lime, a suspension of copper(II) hydroxide Cu(OH)2 and calcium sulfate, which is used to control fungus on grapesmelons, and other berries.
  • Cheshunt compound, a commercial mixture of copper sulfate and ammonium carbonate (discontinued), is used in horticulture to prevent damping off in seedlings. As a non-agricultural herbicide, is it used to control invasive aquatic plants and the roots of plants situated near water pipes. It is used in swimming pools as an algicide. A dilute solution of copper sulfate is used to treat aquarium fishes for parasitic infections, and is also used to remove snails from aquariums. Copper ions are highly toxic to fish, however. Most species of algae can be controlled with very low concentrations of copper sulfate.

Analytical reagent

  • Several chemical tests utilize copper sulfate. It is used in Fehling's solution and Benedict's solution to test for reducing sugars, which reduce the soluble blue copper(II) sulfate to insoluble red copper(I) oxide. Copper(II) sulfate is also used in the Biuret reagent to test for proteins.
  • Copper sulfate is used to test blood for anemia. The blood is tested by dropping it into a solution of copper sulfate of known specific gravity – blood which contains sufficient hemoglobin sinks rapidly due to its density, whereas blood which does not sink or sinks slowly has insufficient amount of hemoglobin.
  • In a flame test, its copper ions emit a deep green light, a much deeper green than the flame test for barium.

Organic synthesis

  • Copper sulfate is employed at a limited level in organic synthesis. The anhydrous salt is used as a dehydrating agent for forming and manipulating acetal groups. The hydrated salt can be intimately mingled with potassium permanganate to give an oxidant for the conversion of primary alcohols.[26]

Niche uses

  • Copper(II) sulfate has attracted many niche applications over the centuries. In industry copper sulfate has multiple applications. In printing it is an additive to book binding pastes and glues to protect paper from insect bites; in building it is used as an additive to concrete to provide water resistance and disinfectant qualities. Copper sulfate can be used as a coloring ingredient in artworks, especially glasses and potteries. Copper sulfate is also used in firework manufacture as a blue coloring agent, but it is not safe to mix copper sulfate with chlorates when mixing firework powders.
  • It corrects copper deficiencies in the soil and animals and stimulates farm animals' growth.
  • In decoration, copper sulfate adds color to cement, metals and ceramic. Some batteries, electrodes and wire contain copper sulfate. It is used in printing ink and hair dye and it creates a green color in fireworks.
Lowering a copper etching plate into the copper sulfate solution.
  • Copper sulfate was once used to kill bromeliads, which serve as mosquito breeding sites. Copper sulfate is used as a molluscicide to treat bilharzia in tropical countries.
  • Copper sulfate is used as an anti-fungal agent to protect seeds against fungus and to protect horse hooves from infection. It inhibits growth of bacteria such as Escherichia coli.