Blue to bluish green crystals of one or more types of basic cupric phosphate salts. Copper phosphate occurs naturally in the minerals cornetite, dihydrite, libethenite, pseudomalachite, and tagilite. Copper phosphate salts have also been found on bronze and copper objects exposed to phosphate burial environments apparently due to the nearby decomposition of bone, horn, or ivory. Phosphate-containing detergents, such as Calgon®, are also suspected as a source of some copper phosphate corrosion products. Commercially, copper phosphate salts have been used as a fungicide, fertilizer, and corrosion inhibitor (for oxidation).
Synonyms and Related Terms
Insoluble in cold water. Soluble in acids and ammonium hydroxide. Decomposes on heating.
W. von Geilmann, K. Meisel, "Rontgenographische Untersuchungens Methoden in der Vorgeschichtsforschung: Libethenite ein Mineral der Patinabildung" Nachrichtenblatt fur Deutsche Vorzeit, 18, 1992, pp. 208-212.
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 2639
- External source or communication Comment: H. Otto, "X-ray fine structure investigation of patina samples" Freiberger Forschungshefte.B, 37, 1959, pp. 66-77.