Can You Soak Up Mercury with a PENNY? (Copper Amalgam)

by Super User, 6 years ago
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In this video we talk a little about amalgams, which are specific just to mercury. An amalgam is the term used when you mix mercury and another metal. Often this can be done just at room temperature instead of the melting point of the metals used.

We use a penny, which is only copper coated with a zinc core, but that still works. We remove the barrier that prevents the Hg from bonding with the penny (the oxide layer) with a weak nitric acid solution. Once the penny is coated, the mercury prevents the copper from forming an oxide layer, so it really absorbs mercury at that point.

Remember that mercury is not a plaything and is dangerous.
I use a respirator any time I handle it.

Mercury Playlist: