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Arellano University

Juan Sumulong Campus

Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila

Copper (II) sulfate and Iron Nail Experiment

Dhenver John G. Estolero

Submitted to: Mr. Victor Benitez II

April 4, 2019

- Demonstrate the reaction between Copper (II) sulfate and iron nail

- Explain why the nail looks like rusted and the solution lose its color

- Explain the properties and effects of Copper (II) sulfate to the iron nail


 Disposable Gloves
 Iron nails
 Copper (II) sulfate
 Test tube
 Test tube rack
 Thread
 Sand paper


 Clean two iron nails of sufficient size by rubbing them with sand paper so that
their colour appears grayish.

 Take sufficient quantity of Copper (II) sulfate solution in two different test tubes.

 Put the test tubes to the test tube rack separately.

 Tie one nail using a thread and hang in one test tube. Left some length out of the
test tube to access the nail after.

 Keep the other nail in a Petri dish for comparison after the experiment.

 Keep the two test tubes undisturbed for about 15 minutes.

 Remove the iron nail immersed in the Copper (II) sulfate solution and put it in the


A single displacement reaction takes place, when an iron nail is placed in Copper (II)
sulfate solution. The chemical reaction can be written as:

Fe (s) + CuSO4 (aq) -> FeSO4 (aq) + Cu (s)

In this case, iron, being more reactive than copper, will displace it from the solution.
That is, ferrous ions or Fe(II) will go into the solution, while curic or Cu(II) will be
deposited onto the nail. This cause the solution color to change from blue to green. The
copper coating on the nail will give it a refdish-brown color. And we end up with solid
copper and a solution of ferrous sulfate.

In general, more reactive species displaces less reactive species from a solution, as
shown here by displacement of copper by iron.

Remember the reactivity series of metal s, which says that Iron is more reactive than
copper, therefore it can displace copper from its salts (here,copper sulphate).

The displacement reaction taking place can e written as :

Fe + CuSO4(aq) == FeSO4 + Cu

Iron + Copper (II) sulfate(aq) == Iron sulfate + copper

Now, enough basics, directly to question…

A fter 30 minutes:

1) The initial blue colour of Copper (II) sulfate solution is changed to light green
colour of iron sulfate

2) The initial silver colour of iron nail is changed to reddish-brown colour due to
coating of copper metal on the nail.

V. Precautionary measures to be considered before and after doing the

1. Clean the iron nails by rubbing with sand paper to remove rust, dust or greasy

2. Keep the control experiment to compare the colour of iron nails and Copper (II)
sulfate solution.

3. Avoid touching copper sulphate solution or nail dipped in copper sulphate

solution as copper sulphate is poisonous.