Why doesn't copper dissolve in hydrochloric acid?


Quick Answer

Copper doesn't dissolve in hydrochloric acid because it does not oxidize easily and has a positive reduction potential, making it fairly unreactive. Copper is also a noble metal, the series of metals which are not affected by non-oxidizing acids.

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Full Answer

As a result of its unreactivity, copper is often found in its pure form in nature. Much of modern copper is derived from sulfide ores. It is a strong conductor of electricity and is used primarily in electric wires. Copper can be alloyed with zinc to create brass, or with tin to create bronze. Copper-containing minerals include cuprite, chalcocite and chalcopyrite.

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