Combustion of copper in chlorine

The cylinder is filled with yellow-green smoke and drops after bringing a wire in

Scientific name: Copper oxidation with chlorine


Reaction of Chlorine and Copper

Медь в хлоре

by dmitry tutunov

Горение меди в хлоре

Горение меди в хлоре

by Ольга Николаевна Карпуничева

Взаимодействие хлора с медью

by Учебные фильмы


Wear eye protection goggles. Work with poisonous gases only outdoors or in a hood.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

Cu + Cl2 → CuCl2


  1. Copper wire

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Obtain chlorine gas. There are many different ways.
  2. Collect chlorine gas into a chemical cylinder.
  3. Heat the copper wire over a gas burner or alcohol lamp.
  4. Quickly add the glowing hot wire into the cylinder with chlorine.
  5. Watch the cylinder fill with yellow-green smoke and drops fall.
  6. You can add a little water into the cylinder at the beginning, to observe the formation of blue copper chloride solution

Scientific background

Chlorine gas is a strong oxidant. Metallic copper is oxidized to copper chloride, which forms the smoke. The reaction takes place at the interface very slowly, so heating is necessary. Copper chloride is very hygroscopic, so there are falling drops of copper chloride.


Published on 10 March 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst