Vitriol

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5mm wide monocrystal of blue vitriol (cupric sulfate)

In chemistry, a vitriol is a sulfate, and vitriol names have the obvious meaning: for example, vitriol of lead is plumbous (lead(II)) sulfate, and so on. The word vitriol comes from the Latin word vitriolum, meaning "glassy", as the crystals of several metallic sulfates resemble pieces of colored glass.

Vitriol with no further qualification often means sulfuric acid, which also resembles glass when concentrated to its viscous form. The term vitriolic in the sense of "harshly condemnatory" is derived from the pungent and caustic nature of this substance.

Vitriol Chemical Comment Formula
Black vitriol   a mixture[A] [Cu,Mg,Fe,Mn,Co,Ni]SO4·7H2O[B]
Blue vitriol/Vitriol of Cyprus copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate CuSO4·5H2O
Green vitriol/Copperas iron(II) sulfate heptahydrate FeSO4·7H2O
Oil of vitriol sulfuric acid not a sulfate H2SO4
Red vitriol cobalt(II) sulfate heptahydrate CoSO4·7H2O
Roman vitriol copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate CuSO4·5H2O[1]
Spirit of vitriol sulfuric acid not a sulfate H2SO4
Sweet oil of vitriol diethyl ether not a sulfate CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3
Vitriol of argile/Vitriol of clay aluminium sulfate alum Al2(SO4)3
Vitriol of Mars iron(III) sulfate Ferric sulfate Fe2(SO4)3
White vitriol zinc sulfate heptahydrate ZnSO4·7H2O
A Many websites state "black vitriol is a mixture of iron sulfate and iron sulfite", but none gives a reference of any sort. The book, Chemistry, Inorganic & Organic, with Experiments, by Bloxam[2] is a published, reliable reference for the composition of black vitriol, and it states on page 513, "The formula of black vitriol may be written [CuMgFeMnCoNi]SO4·7H2O, the six isomorphous metals being interchangeable without altering the general character of the salt."
B "Any combination of these elements may be found in black vitriol."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roman vitriol on Chembk CAS Database
  2. ^ a b Bloxam, Charles Loudon; Bloxam, Arthur G.; Lewis, S. Judd (1913). "Copper, Cu = 63.57". Chemistry, Inorganic & Organic, with Experiments (Tenth ed.). Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's Son & Co. p. 513. The formula of black vitriol may be written [CuMgFeMnCoNi]SO4·7H2O, the six isomorphous metals being interchangeable without altering the general character of the salt.