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March 1 2012 5 01 /03 /March /2012 18:35

Indium is placed in a dilute copper(II) chloride solution. The indium instantly becomes coated with a steadily thickening layer of copper metal. The copper solution gradually clears over the course of a couple minutes. What remains is a solution of indium chloride and a large amount of spongy copper precipitate. Indium, despite its electrode potential of -0.34 V, behaves partially like aluminium in dissolving quickly in copper(II) chloride solution. This could be further proven by dissolving indium in copper sulfate and comparing the reaction rates.

 

The resulting indium solution is pipetted off and reacted with zinc metal. The zinc slowly reduces the indium chloride to the metal, resulting in the formation of a spongy layer on the zinc. This bears a similarity to the deposition of tin by zinc-tin(II) chloride, although the indium precipitate is much less spongy.

 

Here is the initial piece of indium metal.

 

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Here is the indium immediately after immersion in the copper(II) chloride solution.

 

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Here is the indium after a couple of minutes in the solution. The thickness of copper sponge is seen.

 

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Here is the completed reaction. This indium solution is removed and prepared for the next reaction.

 

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Here is the indium solution with a piece of zinc in it.

 

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Here is the indium solution with the zinc after 8 hours.

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Published by LanthanumK - in Experiments
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