Copper chloride in an aluminum cupcake form

Copper chloride solution vigorously reacts with aluminum cupcake form

Scientific name: Demonstration of the reaction between copper chloride (II) and aluminum


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Wear lab goggles and gloves. Solution may boil up, be careful!

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

Reaction formula

3 CuCl2 + 2 Al → 2 AlCl3 + 3 Cu

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Prepare a saturated solution of copper (II) chloride in water.
  2. Place a cupcake form into a beaker.
  3. Pour the copper (II) chloride solution into the cupcake form. After a few seconds a vigorous reaction occurs.

Scientific background

Copper (II) chloride reacts with aluminum forming metallic copper and aluminum chloride (AlCl3). This reaction is very intensive and exothermic. Because of this the solution may boil up. The aluminum cupcake form crashes and the solution pours out into the beaker.

The reaction in this experiment does not start immediately because of the presence of an aluminum oxide layer on the cupcake form surface.

In another variation of this experiment aluminum foil is put in the copper (II) chloride solution. The Solution changes its color and heats up.


Published on 22 September 2015

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