Make Copper Chloride (3 ways)

Make Copper Chloride (3 ways)

Warning: Hydrochloric acid is corrosive and copper salts are toxic in large doses. Wear gloves when handling it. Greetings fellow nerds. I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this so in this video we’re going to make copper chloride. A useful chemical to etch copper clad printed circuit boards. And i’ll show three ways of doing it. The absolute simplest but slowest method is to get some copper metal and cover it with hydrochloric acid. Then bubble air through it. What’s happening is the oxygen in the air is reacting with the copper and hydrochloric acid to produce copper chloride. The problem with this method is that it’s very slow and takes a few days to start up. It gets faster once there is a lot of copper in solution but even then you need to be patient. A second way which is much faster is to get some copper. I’m using about 30 grams. Add some hydrochloric acid to cover it and then add an equal volume of 3%-6% hydrogen peroxide. In this case i’m using 200 ml for both. Stirring also helps to react the copper. What’s happening is the hydrogen peroxide directly oxidizes the copper and reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce copper chloride. This is much faster and just takes a couple of hours to finish. The third way is for those of you that don’t mind some sulfate contamination in your copper chloride. First start with copper sulfate and just keep adding hydrochloric acid with stirring until all the copper sulfate dissolves. Be sure to give it some time between hydrochloric acid additions as copper sulfate can dissolve very slowly. Anyway, while this solution of copper chloride also contains sulfate ions, it can still be used for PCB etching and gold recovery procedures as the sulfate ions do not interfere in those cases. So this can be a very convenient method to get the benefits of copper chloride if all you have is copper sulfate and hydrochloric acid. Now however you make your copper chloride, you can test its potency by dipping a piece of copper clad printed circuit board. If the board etches clean, then you’ve successfully made copper (II) chloride. If it doesn’t you might have large amounts of copper (I) chloride or simply not enough copper at all. Try reacting it with more air or hydrogen peroxide. Anyway, that’s how you make copper chloride. Thanks for watching.


  1. You might want to add "Don't dump undiluted/unprecipated copper solutions down the drain" to the warning disclaimer as copper is quite a potent killer of aquatic life.

                                                                     I'm counting on you

  3. I prefer to mix copper sulfate solution with excess sodium hydroxide in hot solution to get black copper oxide, which can be filtered off, washed and dissolved in HCl, to get a clean product.

  4. Hey mr. Nurd Rage sir,

    any chance you could demonstrate photocatalysis and and how it works as a coating for self-cleaning surfaces?

  5. Can you use ozone instead of oxygen?  ozone can be generated by high voltage sparks so…. yeah. I might try it.

  6. So who / what is nurdrage? A collection of people using the same channel or a single person? Also, why the altered voice? Apologies if these are annoying questions I was just curious.

  7. would this be cheaper or more expensive than just buying the copper chloride (not taking in account the price of equipment to make the copper chloride)

  8. Will the video about how to make potassium chlorate via electrolysis be soon? I can't wait to be able to use a bit of electrochemistry!

  9. I am envious of what you have going on. Thanks for all the help. I'd still like to see You do fractional distillation under a vacuum. That'd be cool.

  10. Something I've always wondered was could you stabilize Copper (I) Chloride with a complex of some sort and use it for plating copper in a manner similar to Tollen's reagent? If that were possible you'd have a great method to make low cost PCB's on cheap substrates like microscope slides.

  11. You make the best videos. I have a comment, you said air takes long, while I know H2O2 can can be expensive on larger scale. So how about manganate/permanganate, then dropping out the MnO2 and filtering off the CuCl2. Is there a way to specifically extract the leftover ppm's of manganese, like solvent extraction, reasonably cost effectively in case a very pure solution is needed? But for general etching some minor manganese contamination should not hurt. Any Mn2+ should be possible to drop out away from the Cu2+ with extra permanganate, and then the MnO2 recycled into permanganate with baking soda or soda ash detergent fusion in a crucible, then slightly acidifying and filtering the MnO2 again. Permanganate should be just as fast as H2O2, while available/recyclable to people and H2O2 is more difficult to DIY and you have to keep purchasing it. Chromate is another one, maybe better, maybe worse, especially that it likes to form funky precipitates (copper chromate might be insoluble), but permanganate is monovalent and as far as I know it forms few reaction rate blocking precipitates. Then hit it with a torch in a crucible oxygen access to it, and at high temperatures rates of reacting with atmospheric oxygen should be orders of magnitude higher – near room temperature reaction rates double every 10 degrees, so 500 degrees away is a different ballpark. Of course it is more complicated then simple air bubbling, also it requires fuel, so air bubbling might win in the end for large scale, other than having to recover the evaporated lost HCl. And for that, sulfuric acid doped with enough chloride might be better to make copper sulfate catalyzed by copper chloride corrosion.

  12. iv used this technique before, with memory boards, its took the copper plating off from under the gold and was able to retrieve the gold fro refining, was a fun process 🙂

  13. 30% of your viewers don't know what a magnetic stirrer is.
    30% are happy to learn for free. 30% just act like scientists in the YouTube comment section.
    10% are scientists doing their homework on how to kick ass.

  14. Mister Nurd,I have a request to make. Caustic soda,hydrogen chloride and caustic soda. What does it make?

  15. I'm curious what type of chemistry do you study? I ask this question in the sense of the sub divisions of inorganic, organic, etc…

  16. I made copper (II) chloride with the second method, using 3% peroxide, and at first, everything was fine, but after a 3 hours, I noticed that the bottom turned dark brown. If someone knows why did it turned brown, then please tell me how to fix it, or what did I do wrong (maybe that's because I mixed the acid and the peroxide first, then added the copper.

  17. YOU,are my hero!i will contriute soon i hope,i am stuck on ahk-Cu a peptide.i am really trying to get some organic products but this is hurting me.any answers for a rebel nerd ro?

  18. It's working too, if you put some salt (NaCl) and some copper-suplhate (CuSO4) with a bit water together and warm it, it works very well. 🙂 (Put some alufoil into it, and ignite the gas!)

  19. I convert some of my stock of copper sulfate to copper ii carbonate which i then react with hcl to get copper ii chloride at least that is the theory lol

    very fast and easy

  20. I have made a copper (II) chloride. What interests me is how to make crystallization copper (II) chloride, if possible

  21. One more method is to mix a solution of:
     CuSO4(aq) + CaCl2(aq) –> CuCl2(aq) + CaSO4(s)
    With calcium sulfate being so insoluble the sulfate contamination would be greatly reduced also no acids are used.  Glad you're making videos again!

  22. So i have make cooper chloride at my home.I have oxidize sodium into cooper,with vinegar.

  23. I would assume that since you don't specify a quantity of copper to start with, we just use an excess, ie a lot, and just dump the unreacted copper. Also, does the concentration of hcl matter?

  24. yes I have one question I watched a video on recycling gold and they used copper chloride solution but the solution he was using was a very nice green color compared to the solutions that you make which almost look dark brown what is the difference between the two the lighter one and the darker one love your videos and thank you very much

  25. I have a question, could you make copper chloride with electrolysis. By dissolving NaCl in water then have the cathode made of graphite and the anode made from copper?

  26. A strong word of caution! The hydrogen peroxide MUST be 3-6%, otherwise you run the risk of releasing toxic chlorine gas as I did foolishly before, by mixing concentrated hydrogen peroxide and concentrated hydrochloric acid

  27. Great video. I am wondering why some people say that etching with Copper Chloride could realese chlorine gas. Is there any real danger of using Copper Chloride for copper and brass etching? If so, when or why these dangers may appear? By overheating Copper Chloride? By adding too much HCl and/or Hydrogen Peroxide when regenerating the solution? By some byproduct or decomposition of the etching process by itself?

  28. How about using copper oxide instead of copper sulfate? Wouldn't that directly produce copper chloride whith just water as a byproduct?

  29. Excellent video, just made up a batch and it worked a treat 🙂

    Can it be used as is indefinitely, or will I need to eventually dilute the mix due to excess copper?

    If so, is it just a case of adding more 36% hydrochloric?

  30. Hi Nerdrage 🙂

    Your videos have been a fantastic source of entertainment and learning. They have helped me a lot and for that I thank you good sir.

    You mention that copper chloride gets stronger as it's used but didn't catch anything about diluting it.

    If poss, I'd like to find a suitable strength/etch time that I can monitor and have some spent CuCi2 kicking around which I need to do something about. I then started wondering if it could be used for diluting the solution but wasn't sure.

    If not, is it just a case of adding fresh hydrochloric and water?

  31. Couldn't you get rid of any sulfate ions by reacting the copper sulfate solution with calcium chloride rather than HCl by causing all of the sulfate ions to combine with the calcium ions and precipitate as calcium chloride.

    CuSO4 + CaCl2 = CuCl2 + CaSO4
    (aq) (aq) (aq) (s)

  32. I put about 10ml of 3% H2O2 and 16%-18% HCl in a test tube with copper from old laptop cooler, seems like nothing is happening, what's wrong?

  33. Wait but. What would happen if I just took distilled water. Mixed sodium chloride or baking soda in and then put in two electrodes (with the positive one being copper)? I did this. And it made my solution blue. So do I have some kind of copper solution? Also. I was able to coat a nickel with a very thin layer of copper.

  34. Could i possibly use ferric chloride with some copper to make copper chloride, and distill the copper chloride like you said to get hydrochloric acid and the left over copper?

  35. Instead of dissolving Copper(II)sulphate in hydrochloric acid. Why do you not simply make basic copper carbonate, and let the basic copper carbonate react with hydrochloric acid? Sound cleaner to me.

  36. i want to dissolve copper in hydrochloric acid and i want the final amount to be 2L and im using 29% of HCl. and the concentration is 0.50 M. how much copper and HCl. do i need?

  37. I repeated the same experiment that you did with h2o2 .I used Cu in excess but the solution is still acidic eventhough the reaction is over. What should I do?

  38. Hi, is it possible that what you have produced during aeration is tribasic copper chloride? BTW, can you make a video on producing tribasic copper chloride? Thanks

  39. I used muriatic acid, copper wire and 3% H2O2 and the solution I got is not green but blue. Is it because of the dilution?

  40. Another. Way is to mix copper and thionyl chloride and a dash of copper chloride as a catalyst then dry it the thionyl chloride reacts with the water to produce hcl and h2so3 the h2so3 is unstable and decomposes into so2 and water the hcl reacts with the copper chloride to form tetrachlorocupric acid ii which then reacts with copper and more hcl to form trichlorocupric acid i which is then oxidised back into tetrachlorocupric acid by the air when the soloution drys the tetrachlorocupric acid decomposes into hcl and copper chloride

  41. if a viewer were to offer you a certain amount of patreon dollars to do an experiment, how do you decide what is acceptable for each experiment? understandably, some experiments take days(weeks…) to get an end product, and some are costly. how would you establish a going rate?

  42. Can someone help me out with a reaction as Im really at a loss. So I made CuCl2 by this method and ended up with the dark green solution which was very acidic. I then wanted to make copper carbonate. so to this solution i added solid sodium carbonate which took many additions each releasing CO2 (which took more from excess HCl) When the final addition of sodium carbonate was added, the solution precipitated a brilliant orange precipitate and not blue copper carbonate! The orange precipitate is insoluble and doesn't change colour upon diluting with water. Im sure there were no contaminants in the process and i will repeat it to be sure. Am i missing a simple fundamental of chemistry or have I discovered something? 😀 Thank you to anyone who takes the times to read this, even if you're just as lost as me.

  43. Hi ! im pretty new in the chemistry world and this is one of the first things i wanted to make. My supplies suck but i tried my best. I tried to follow your video, now calculations all by eye xd. Half muriatic acid half hydrogen peroxyde and a chips of copper (from 0,5mm wire). It went pretty fine turning green and stuff. Later that day was Dark Green so i decided the next step would be to evaporate the water (it might have been acid so shi* :p). What happened was something really weird but these are the variables: The recipient was a dirty pot and the temperature was unknown, as it boiled the sides looked a greenish blue and i thought that was good but as it finished boiling it looked really weird. it was bumpy, shiny, and the colour was like a dark green rgb(102, 102, 51) more or less. my teacher described it as an amalgam or i dont know how its spelled XD. i put some water in a sample and dissolver really well. WEIRDER in the bottom was a white salt that dint dissolve.

    Next day the sample with the salt that dint dissolve, the water turned kinda yellow. The Pot that i boilled turned dark (i suppose copper oxide?) and some bubbles that were there popped and revealed a solid that looked like copper chloride! (im not sure yet). When i tried mixing it with water, there was some solids in suspension that dint mix (i think it is copper oxide) and the water was brown.

    AFTER ALL THIS!!!! does anyone know anything that can help me! XD thx 😉

  44. Great as always I'd really like to see a video on making electroless nickle and also woods nickle strike keep the great videos coming

  45. Could you use this to extract the copper coating from pennies? I was thinking of using the copper coating on pennies to form copper chloride, and then precipitate the copper using aluminum wire.

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