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Synthesis of the copper pigment malachite: making tempera paint

Students synthesize the copper pigment malachite, then use the pigment to prepare egg tempera paint. Students explore “stoichiometry (excess reactants and yields), solubility, precipitation, and properties of emulsions” in this Journal of Chemical Education article by Sally D. Solomon, Susan A. Rutkowsky, Megan L. Mahon, and Erica M. Halpern.

The first half of this experiment uses standard glassware and household materials.

Note: The second half of the experiment (synthesis of the copper pigment Verdigris) calls for 2.0 M NaOH and is likely not suitable for at-home use.

This laboratory is suitable for high school or undergraduate general chemistry lab courses.


Allergy warning

This experiment is not suitable for students with egg allergies.

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