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Copper Uses || What Copper does to Water || How Copper is Made

Copper Ores :

Copper Pyrite or Chalcopyrite – CuFeS2 or Cu2S.Fe2S3

Copper Glance or Chalcocite – Cu2S

Cuprite – Cu2O

Malachite – CuCO3 . Cu(OH)2

Azurite – (CuCO3)2 . Cu(OH)2

Copper pyrite is the major ores of copper. Copper pyrite and Copper glance are sulfide ores. Cuprite is oxide ores. Malachite and Azurite are carbonate ores.


Presentation :- Copper is found in free state in America, Sweden and Ural mountains. In India, copper is found in the combined state in the form of oxide, sulfide and carbonate ores. It is mainly found in Singhbhumi (Bihar), Rajsthan and Andhra Pradesh.

The main factory of Copper extraction in India is Indian Copper Cooperation Limited, Musabani Ghatshila, Jamshedpur.

Metallurgy of Copper :

Copper pyrite is the main ores of copper. In order to obtain copper from copper pyrite, first, large pieces of ores are obtained by hammering, crusher and using stemt mill in the form of a fine powder. After this the following steps are done in sequence.

Concentration of the ore :- After grinding copper pyrite ores, its concentration is done first by gravity separation method and then by froth floatation method.

To concentrate the ore by the froth flotation method, a fine powder of ore is poured into a pond filled with water and pine oil and a strong wind of air is passed through it, the concentrated ore obtained in the form of froths on the surface of the liquid.

Roasting of the concentrated ore :- The concentrated ore of copper pyrite is kept in a reflecting furnace and heated in the presence of low temperature and controlled air so that it gets oxidised without melting. In this way the concentrated ore gets roasted. The impurities of sulfure, arsenic and antimony present in the ore get oxidised to form their own oxides, which dissociate in the form of vapour.

S + O2 SO2

4As + 3O2 2As2O3

Copper pyrite is oxidised to form copper sulfide (Cu2S), ferrous sulfide (FeS) and sulfure dioxide (SO2).

2CuFeS2 + O2 Cu2S + 2FeS + SO2

Some part of copper sulfide and ferrous sulfide is converted into copper oxide (Cu2O) and ferrous oxide (FeO).

2Cu2S + 3O2 2Cu2O + 2SO2

2FeS + 3O2 2FeO + 2SO2


Smelting of the roasted ore :- The roasted ore of copper pyrite mixed with sand and cock is melted in blast furnace at high temperature. Sand contains SiO2 in excess and Cock contains carbon (C).

This process is called Smelting of the roasted ore. As a result of smelting of the roasted ore of copper pyrite, Cu2O and FeS present in it react as follows –

Cu2S + FeS Cu2S + FeO

The FeO thus obtained reacts with the used slaking (SiO2) to form iron silicate which is called slag.

FeO + SiO2 FeSiO3