ECHA InfoCard 100.013.882
black to brown powder
6.315 g/cm 3
1,326 °C (2,419 °F; 1,599 K)
2,000 °C (3,630 °F; 2,270 K)
soluble in ammonium chloride, potassium cyanide insoluble in alcohol, ammonium hydroxide, ammonium carbonate
+238.9·10 −6 cm 3/mol
a = 4.6837, b = 3.4226, c = 5.1288
α = 90°, β = 99.54°, γ = 90°
43 J·mol −1·K −1
−156 kJ·mol −1
Safety data sheet
Harmful ( Xn) Dangerous for the environment ( N)
US health exposure limits ( NIOSH):
TWA 1 mg/m 3 (as Cu)
TWA 1 mg/m 3 (as Cu)
TWA 100 mg/m 3 (as Cu)
Nickel(II) oxide Zinc oxide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their
(at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
( verify what is ?)
Copper(II) oxide or cupric oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula CuO. A black solid, it is one of the two stable oxides of copper, the other being Cu 2O or cuprous oxide. As a mineral, it is known as tenorite. It is a product of copper mining and the precursor to many other copper-containing products and chemical compounds.
It is produced on a large scale by
pyrometallurgy used to extract copper from ores. The ores are treated with an aqueous mixture of ammonium carbonate, ammonia, and oxygen to give copper(I) and copper(II) ammine complexes, which are extracted from the solids. These complexes are decomposed with steam to give CuO.
It can be formed by heating copper in air at around 300 – 800°C:
2 Cu + O 2 → 2 CuO
For laboratory uses, pure copper(II) oxide is better prepared by heating
copper(II) nitrate, copper(II) hydroxide or basic copper(II) carbonate:
3) 2 (s) → 2 CuO (s) + 4 NO 2 (g) + O 2 (g) (180°C) Cu(OH)
2 (s) → CuO (s) + H 2O (l) (80-100°C) Cu 2CO 3(OH) 2 (s) → 2CuO (s) + CO 2 (g) + H 2O (g) (290°C)
Copper(II) oxide dissolves in
mineral acids such as hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid or nitric acid to give the corresponding copper(II) salts:
CuO + 2 HNO
3 → Cu(NO 3) 2 + H 2O CuO + 2 HCl → CuCl
2 + H 2O CuO + H 2SO 4 → CuSO 4 + H 2O
It reacts with concentrated alkali to form the corresponding cuprate salts:
2 MOH + CuO + H 2O → M 2[Cu(OH) 4]
It can also be reduced to
copper metal using hydrogen, carbon monoxide, or carbon:
CuO + H
2 → Cu + H 2O CuO + CO → Cu + CO
2 2CuO + C → 2Cu + CO 2
When cupric oxide is substituted for iron oxide in
thermite the resulting mixture is a low explosive, not an incendiary.
Structure and physical properties
Copper(II) oxide belongs to the
monoclinic crystal system. The copper atom is coordinated by 4 oxygen atoms in an approximately square planar configuration.
work function of bulk CuO is 5.3 eV
Copper(II) oxide is a
p-type semiconductor, with a narrow band gap of 1.2 eV. Cupric oxide can be used to produce dry cell batteries.
As a significant product of copper mining, copper(II) oxide is the starting point for the production of other copper salts. For example, many wood preservatives are produced from copper oxide.
Cupric oxide is used as a
pigment in ceramics to produce blue, red, and green, and sometimes gray, pink, or black glazes.
It is also incorrectly used as a dietary supplement in animal feed.
Due to low bioactivity, negligible copper is absorbed. 
It is also used when welding with
A copper oxide electrode formed part of the early battery type known as the
Edison–Lalande cell. Copper oxide was also used in a lithium battery type ( IEC 60086 code "G").
Use in disposal
Cupric oxide can be used to safely dispose of
hazardous materials such as cyanide, hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons and dioxins, through oxidation.
The decomposition reactions of phenol and pentachlorophenol follow these pathways:
6H 5OH + 14CuO → 6CO 2 + 3H 2O + 14Cu C 6Cl 5OH + 2H 2O + 9CuO → 6CO 2 + 5HCl + 9Cu
^ a b The effect of hydrostatic pressure on the ambient temperature structure of CuO, Forsyth J.B., Hull S., J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 3 (1991) 5257-5261 ,
doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/3/28/001. Crystallographic point group: 2/m or C. 2h Space group: C2/c. Lattice parameters: a = 4.6837(5), b = 3.4226(5), c = 5.1288(6), α = 90°, β = 99.54(1)°, γ = 90°.
^ a b c
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0150". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
^ a b H. Wayne Richardson "Copper Compounds
in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi: 10.1002/14356007.a07_567
F. P. Koffyberg and F. A. Benko (1982). "A photoelectrochemical determination of the position of the conduction and valence band edges of p-type CuO". J. Appl. Phys. 53 (2): 1173. doi: 10.1063/1.330567.
"Uses of Copper Compounds: Other Copper Compounds". Copper Development Association. 2007 . Retrieved . 2007-01-27
^ Cupric Oxide Should Not Be Used As a Copper Supplement for Either Animals or Humans, Baker, D. H., J. Nutr. 129, 12 (1999) 2278-2279
"Cupric Oxide Data Sheet". Hummel Croton Inc. 2006-04-21 . Retrieved . 2007-02-01
Kenney, Charlie W.; Uchida, Laura A. (April 1986). "Use of copper (II) oxide as source of oxygen for oxidation reactions" . Retrieved . 2007-06-29