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We have a project where we have to extract copper from copper sulfate. But my group is given a powder version ($5~\mathrm{g}$), so we have to first dilute it with water and then combine it with aluminum to extract the copper. If this is the equation:

$$\ce{3Cu(SO4) + 2Al + H2O + salt -> Al2 (SO4)3 + 3Cu}$$

Salt is acting as a catalyst for the experiment.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to chemistry.stackexchange.com. Feel free to take a tour of the site. I edited your post to include MathJax for chemical and mathematical expressions. For more information on how to do so yourself, check out the help center, this meta-post or this one. What actually is your question? $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 20:24

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The first step you need to take is to determine the moles of your copper sulphate.

This is simple arithmetic. $$moles = \frac{mass}{molar.weight}$$ The mass of the substance is your measured 5 grams. The molar mass of your compound can be obtained from Wikipedia. In this case, anhydrous copper sulphate has a molar mass of $159.61\frac{g}{mol}$.

Plugging into the equation: 0.0031 $moles = \frac{5}{159.61}$

Now that you know the moles of your copper sulphate, you should be able to work out the the needed amounts of your other compounds using stoichometry.

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    $\begingroup$ No issues with your method, but it is very likely that she was using the pentahydrate, so the molar mass would need to be adjusted. If the powder was white, it was anhydrous, if it was a nice blue color, it was hydrated. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ This is why I made sure to specify that the anhydrous species was used for calculations. $\endgroup$
    – T. Kent
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 2:38
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed you did. :-) I was trying to make it more clear, since this was a basic question and it seems reasonable that she would not immediately consider the possibility of a hydrate and its effect on the solution. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 22:50

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