How do I remove copper from water (be realistic)

In summary, the conversation discusses the issue of a strong copper taste in a product created through the use of a distillation rig with a copper condenser. The participants suggest various solutions, such as using a $1000 deionizer, not using copper at all, or using a passivation process with nitric or citric acid. However, it is mentioned that these methods may not be effective and alternatives such as using a home RO kit or zeolites may be more practical.
  • #1
ShawnD
Science Advisor
718
2
I made a distillation rig, and it works fairly ok for the most part. The problem is that the condenser is made of copper, and it leaves a strong copper taste in the product.
How can I remove the copper from the water? When I say be realistic, I mean don't suggest something like "oh run it through a $1000 deionizer you find a lab" sort of deal.
 
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  • #2
sure, just distill the water again...just kidding.

copper ions are not going to come out of solution easily. doing some kind of reaction to get them to precipitate out will ruin the drinking water further.

you are going to need one of those $1000 barnstead units i guess.

the only realistic option is to not use copper, or to at least flush the copper out really well since it is obviously corroding. many households have plumbing made of copper, yet it doesn't affect the quality of the water unless the copper is being oxidized. just use glass, it will work better anyway.
 
  • #3
For about $100 or less, you can buy a home RO kit. These are typically not great at removing most metal ions. Have you thought about adding EDTA ? I think RO kits are pretty good at taking out EDTA complexes. This is just a thought, so you might want to look into it further.
 
  • #4
Can you passivate copper in the same manner as you can stainless steel? Using a nitric or citric acid bath?

- Warren
 
  • #5
chroot said:
Can you passivate copper in the same manner as you can stainless steel? Using a nitric or citric acid bath?

- Warren

In a word nope. Nitric acid will dissolve the Cu and any complexes formed with citrate will be water soluble.

ShawnD if you must use copper (I am clueless as to why), there are various zeolites that can be used to remove transition metal (including Cu+/2+). Google it ;)
 
  • #6
chroot said:
Can you passivate copper in the same manner as you can stainless steel? Using a nitric or citric acid bath?

- Warren
It's a little harder than that. Yes, copper can be passivated well enough that it won't be dissolved much by distilled water. I know for sure that citric acid does not work for passivating copper - though it works well for cleaning it. Not sure about nitric acid, but I have my doubts. I know there are commercially available solvents for passivating copper. One that I know works pretty well has a name that is basically "M" followed by some number (and/or more letters).
 

Related to How do I remove copper from water (be realistic)

1. How does copper get into water in the first place?

Copper can enter water through various ways, such as natural weathering of rocks and soil, industrial processes, and corrosion of copper pipes or plumbing fixtures.

2. Can boiling water remove copper?

No, boiling water does not remove copper. In fact, it can actually increase the concentration of copper in water by evaporating the water and leaving behind more concentrated levels of minerals, including copper.

3. What methods can effectively remove copper from water?

There are several methods that can be used to remove copper from water, including ion exchange, reverse osmosis, activated carbon filtration, and chemical precipitation. The best method will depend on the level of copper contamination and other factors specific to the water source.

4. How long does it take to remove copper from water?

The time it takes to remove copper from water will vary depending on the method used and the initial concentration of copper. In some cases, it may take just a few minutes, while in others it may take several hours or even days.

5. Is it safe to drink water with traces of copper?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), copper is an essential nutrient for the human body and small amounts of copper in water are not harmful. However, high levels of copper can cause health problems, so it is recommended to limit exposure to excessive amounts of copper in drinking water.

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