ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Experiment: Reducing Copper oxide with carbon

Aim: To reduce copper oxide with carbon

Materials: black copper oxide, tongs, crucible lid, powdered carbon, burner

Carbon can be used to reduce copper oxide

Carbon can be used to reduce copper oxide


  1. Mix the copper oxide and powdered carbon together in the crucible lid
  2. Using tongs, hold the lid over the hottest part of the flame and heat strongly until you see some change in the mixture

Observation and Results

  • The mixture smokes and burns
  • The copper oxide is reduced while carbon dioxide is reduced


  • Copper can be reduced by carbon to give carbon dioxide and copper
  • The equation is:
  • \text{copper quad oxide+carbon}\rightarrow\text{copper+carbon dioxide}

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