Question

The blue-colored copper sulfate crystals turn white when treated with sulfuric acid. This is due to the nature of the acid.

A) dehydrating

B) oxidizing

C) reducing

D) color changing

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Answer

The correct answer is: A) dehydrating

Sulfuric acid is recognized as a potent dehydrating agent. The striking blue color of copper sulfate crystals ($\mathrm{CuSO}_4 \cdot 5\mathrm{H}_2\mathrm{O}$) is primarily due to the water of crystallization embedded within its structure. When sulfuric acid is added to these crystals, it effectively removes the water of crystallization, converting copper sulfate to its anhydrous form, which is white.

The chemical reaction can be represented as follows:

$$ \mathrm{CuSO}_4 \cdot 5\mathrm{H}_2\mathrm{O}(\mathrm{s}) + \text{Conc.} \mathrm{H}_2\mathrm{SO}_4 \rightarrow \mathrm{CuSO}_4(\mathrm{s}) + 5\mathrm{H}_2\mathrm{O}(\mathrm{g}) $$

This transformation leads to the color change from blue to white, confirming the dehydrating action of sulfuric acid.


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