Copper Two Nitrate

copper two nitrate is a blue colored crystalline solid consisting of the elements copper, nitrogen and oxygen. It is commonly used in school laboratories to demonstrate chemical voltaic cell reactions.


Cupric nitrate is prepared on an industrial scale by decomposing copper minerals (gerhardite and rouaite) in the presence of ammonia (NH3). The precipitate is a pale blue and dark blue compound because of the 2+ oxidation of copper by ammonia.

Anhydrous Form

Copper nitrate is an anhydrous salt, meaning that it can not be dried with water. It is a deep-blue-green and is highly hygroscopic, turning into at least 5 hydrates as it absorbs water.

Hydrated Form

The hydrated form of copper nitrate is a deep-blue-green salt that forms a blue-green crystal when it sublimes in a vacuum. It is also a highly hygroscopic salt, and the hydrates will not dry with water, so they should be stored in hermetic containers.


The synthesis of anhydrous copper nitrate was difficult until the 1970s, when it was found that adding dinitrogen tetroxide to pure copper metal in anhydrous conditions could produce it. The resulting anhydrous product can then be heated gently to 80degC, which removes the nitrogen oxides and yields pure anhydrous copper nitrate.

Because of its toxicity, it should not be poured down the drain or diluted in water. It is also flammable and gives off nitrogen dioxide fumes when heated. Therefore, it should not be handled by children, and it should always be stored in hermetic containers.