### ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Extraction of copper from oxides

• Copper ore can also be in the form of oxides
• For example Cuprite
• Unlike withe sulphides the oxygen in copper oxides cannot be driven off by roasting
• Copper can be yielded by using the reduction process
• Sodium carbonate is used in the process
• It acts a flux
• It lowers the melting point of copper oxide and forms a slag with the impurities
• The carbon in the sodium carbonate acts as a reducing agent
• It removes the oxygen from the copper oxide ore
• The word equation for the reaction can be written as:
• $\text{copper oxide+carbon}\rightarrow\text{copper+carbon dioxide}$
• The electrolytic method can also be used to extract copper from its oxide ore

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page

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