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Copper Oxide

Last updated: November 9, 2020

What Does Copper Oxide Mean?

Copper oxide is an inorganic compound that occurs in four forms:

  • Copper (I) oxide which has the chemical formula Cu2O
  • Copper (II) oxide which has the chemical formula CuO
  • Copper peroxide which has the chemical formula CuO2
  • Copper (III) oxide which has the chemical formula Cu2O3

Corrosionpedia Explains Copper Oxide

The most common forms of copper oxide are copper (I) oxide and copper (II) oxide. These forms of copper oxide as well as the other forms are formed when oxygen combines with copper in different ways.

Copper (I) oxide is a reddish powder whereas Copper (II) oxide is a black powder. These inorganic compounds occur naturally as minerals in the form of crystals. Both forms of copper oxide are used to produce pigments.

The “I” and “II” in copper oxide represents the number of electrons that the metal has provided when copper oxide is brought into contact with metal.

Some uses for copper oxide are:

  • Building copper-based structures. These structures gradually change color due to oxidation.
  • Producing photoelectric cells in solar panels due to its efficient electrical conductivity properties.
  • Agricultural use to remove fungicides and pesticides.

Copper oxide can cause flulike symptoms and shortness of breath if ingested by humans.


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