Many people believe copper doesn’t react with acids of any kind. However, as Declan Fleming will make clear in this video, the metal will pull off a fairly impressive reaction when introduced to nitric acid.
Acids are simply any aqueous solution with a pH level higher than seven. As such, when people say copper won’t react with any type of acid, they simply aren’t considering the whole range available. Nitric acid is an extremely corrosive mineral acid. While completely colorless, it will exhibit a fairly impressive spectrum of colors during the reaction with copper. As the video shows, you’ll see green, blue, brown and yellow. One of the byproducts of this reaction is NO2, which will need to be dissolved before it gets in the open air, otherwise it could be toxic. Safety screens should also be used in case the temperature change causes the glass containers to explode.