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Single Displacement Reaction


In this experiment, we will do a simple experiment with Copper Sulfate, water, Aluminum foil and a little bit of salt to demonstrate single replacement reaction

Difficulty: Easy, require adult supervision


  1. Copper Sulfate crystals: 25 grams

  2. Aluminum foil: 2 grams

  3. Water : 200 ml

  4. A glass jar for conducting the experiment

  5. Plastic stirrer

  6. Table salt : 1/2 tea spoon

  7. Coffee filter to extract the powdered copper


  1. Measure and add 25 grams of copper sulfate crystals in the glass jar

  2. Add 200 ml water and stir to dissolve. This will take 10 -15 minutes since Copper Sulfate is not easy to dissolve in water

  3. Add aluminum foil to the flask. Nothing will happen

  4. Add the salt and stir

  5. We can see the reaction starting and the blue solution changing color from bright blue to the reddish brown tinge of Copper

  6. All the aluminum will eventually dissolve and the solution will be completely red

  7. Since this is an exothermic reaction, the flask will be hot to touch

  8. Extract the powdered Copper using a coffee filter for future experiments.

How It Works:

Copper Sulfate reacts with Aluminum to produce Aluminum Sulfate and Copper per the reaction below

This is called a single displacement reaction because the copper in Copper Sulfate is displaced and replaced by Aluminum forming Aluminum sulfate and releasing Copper in the powdered form.

The reason for using salt is that Aluminum in its native state reacts with atmospheric Oxygen forming a thin layer of Aluminum Oxide that coats the surface of the aluminum foil and Sodium chloride(common salt) helps free up that bond

This is an exothermic reaction, releasing lots of heat and the glass jar will be hot to touch

Here is a video of the experiment

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