Copper is an Assential mineral and element. The metal is ductile, Malleable, Alectrically and Thermally Conductive, and Corrosion Resistant. We need it every day. Its Antimicrobial Properties are Increasingly crucial to infection Prevention. In the USA, it ranks third after iron and Aluminum.
The chemical element copper has the symbol Cu and the atomic number 29. An Electrically and Thermally Conductive metal, it is soft, Malleable, and ductile. Aside from a Conductor of heat and electricity, copper serves as a building material and a Component of Copper-nickel alloys. Strain gauges and Thermocouples use Constantan.
Copper, silver, and gold belong to group 11. An S-orbital Electron sits atop a shell of D-electrons in metals that exhibit high ductility and conductivity. These elements have filled D-shells that Contribute little to Interatomic interactions. Like metals with incomplete d-shells, copper has weak metallic bonds without covalent characteristics.
Copper single crystals are very ductile and have a low hardness.At the macroscopic level, extended defects, like grain boundaries, increase the material’s hardness. Polycrystalline copper has a fine grain size that increases its strength.
As copper oxide forms slowly with atmospheric oxygen. Passivation protects the underlying metal. The opposite of rust on iron. Copper structures often exhibit verdigris (copper carbonate). Sulfur compounds react with copper to form copper sulfides, which tarnish copper.
Twenty-nine copper isotopes exist. Copper 63 and copper 65 are stable, with copper 63 constituting approximately 69% of natural copper. The most stable isotope is 67 Cu, with a half-life of 61.83 hours. There are seven metastable isotopes; 68m Cu has a half-life of 3.8 minutes. Those with mass numbers below 64 decay by β+. It decays both ways in 12.7 hours.
Earth’s crust contains about 50 parts per million (ppm) of copper produced in massive stars. Various minerals contain native copper, copper sulfides, chalcopyrite, bornite, digenite, covellite, chalcocite, copper sulfosalts, tetrahedrite-tennantite, and enargite, copper carbonates, azurite, malachite, cuprite, and tenorite.
Extraction of copper sulfides. Large open pit mines have a copper content of between 0.4% and 1.0%. Examples include Chile’s Chuquicamata Mine, Utah’s Bingham Canyon Mine, and New Mexico’s El Chino Mine. The United States, Indonesia, Peru, and Chile were the top producers of copper, according to the British Geological Survey in 2005.
Reserves and prices
Copper is thousands of years old. The total copper amount of around 1014 tons is on Earth’s crust in the top kilometer or about 5 million years’ worth at the current extraction rate. Current prices and technologies allow only a tiny portion of these reserves to be economically viable.
Copper concentrations in ores average only 0.6%, and most commercial ores are sulfides. Bornite (Cu5FeS4) and covellite (CuS) are less common sulfides. A polymetallic nodule has an average copper concentration of 1.3%. It is possible to extract copper and other metals from these rocks by leaching, smelting, or by Cuprion extraction.
It’s possible to recycle copper raw and manufacture it without losing quality. Copper ranks third after iron and aluminum in recycling volume. Over 80% of mines use copper. According to the Metal Stocks in Society report, global copper usage is 35–55 kg per person. This is mostly in more-developed countries (140–300 kg per capita) versus less-developed countries (30–40 kg).
Humans have used copper for thousands of years. Its history dates back to ancient times. Here are some critical points in the history of copper:
- 5000 BCE was the earliest evidence of copper mining and tool production in the Middle East.
- Other regions used copper as well. A bronze alloy named after copper and tin characterized the Bronze Age.
- The ancient world used copper as a currency and exchange. The Latin word “copper” is “cup rum,” which means “metal of Cyprus” (an island known for its copper mines).
- Copper mining and smelting became more sophisticated, with new techniques and technologies developed to extract and purify the metal. By fire-setting, ancient Greeks heated rock and poured water on it.
- In the modern era, copper has become a vital industrial metal used in everything from electrical wiring and plumbing to construction and transportation. Today, the largest producers of copper are Chile, Peru, China, and the United States.
Throughout human history, copper has played a crucial role in industry and commerce.