How is copper extracted from its sulphide ore (copper glance), Cu2S? Explain with equations of the reactions involved.
The sulphide ore of copper is copper glance. The compound present in the ore is copper (I) sulphide. Its formula is Cu2S. Copper is a less reactive metal; therefore, it is placed at the bottom in the reactivity series. Copper is extracted by heating its sulphide ore alone.
Two steps involved in the extraction of copper metal from concentrated copper glance ore are:
1. Roasting: Copper glance, being a sulphide ore, is heated in the presence of air. Copper (I) sulphide is converted to copper (I) oxide.
Copper (I) oxide, so formed, reacts with non-oxidised copper (I) sulphide ore in the absence of air to form copper metal. When the mixture of Cu2O and Cu2S is heated, they react together to give copper metal and sulphur dioxide gas.