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$$\ce{Cu2S + 2 O2 -> 2 CuO + SO2}$$

Why are not these oxides $\ce{Cu2O}$, $\ce{SO}$ or $\ce{SO3}$? Is it connected to the stability of these molecules?

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  • $\begingroup$ There should be CuO in the heading :) $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2016 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Appreciate that. $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2016 at 16:03

2 Answers 2

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The reaction gives different products when combusted at different temperature.

  1. $$\ce{8Cu2S + 15O2 ->[\Delta] 6Cu2O + 4CuSO4 + 4SO2}$$

Copper(I) sulfide react with oxygen to produce copper(I) oxide, copper sulfate and sulfur dioxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature of 500-600°C.Here

  1. $$\ce{2Cu2S + 3O2 ->[\Delta] 2Cu2O + 2SO2}$$

Copper(I) sulfide react with oxygen to produce copper(I) oxide and sulfur dioxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature of 1200-1300°C.Here

Sulfur monoxide is very unstable and it is unlikely to exist in Earth's atmosphere but it exist in interstellar spaces. Sulfur trioxide will not form from sulfur dioxide as it requires an oxidising agent.

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Right reaction is $$\ce{2Cu2S + 3O2 -> 2Cu2O + 2SO2}$$

$\ce{Cu2O}$ is because copper in this compound has oxidation state +1 and $\ce{2Cu + O2 -> 2CuO}$.

$\ce{SO2}$ is because $\ce{SO}$ is unstable and $\ce{S + O2 -> SO2}$.

Upd. This answer isn't right. See comments of @Jan under it.

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    $\begingroup$ Your explaining arguments don’t really make sense … $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Jun 10, 2016 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ Why they don't make sense? $\endgroup$
    – user30954
    Jun 10, 2016 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ Because all they do is explain the simple redox process coming from the elements. I can do that, too: $\ce{C + O2 -> CO2}$, yet there are many reactions that cleanly produce $\ce{CO}$, never $\ce{CO2}$. $$~$$ It’s like saying ‘the result of mixing yellow and blue is green, because plants are green.’ It has nothing to do with each other. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Jun 10, 2016 at 18:18

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