So, I discovered Monday that I'm no longer employed; that's always fun. On the bright side, it's an opportunity to find work closer to me, and possibly better pay.
I at one point started the design for a CPU, it's still in the back of my mind, and I'll get back to it.... eventually. And, I'm currently having a bit of fun trying to figure out how to separate copper sulfate from what appears to be a binder to keep it from crystallizing out of the solution. It's this that I want to talk about.
So, I picked up a bottle of algaecide at a store because it contained copper sulfate. I immediately knew something wasn't quite right, because the solution was green, rather than the characteristic blue that copper sulfate has. So, I looked on the ingredients, and most of the contents of the bottle are "stabilizers", polyacrylate, and another chemical that's escaping my memory at the moment. I went ahead and attempted to drive off the water, and see what happens. What I wound up with was essentially a useless green goo that smelled similar to something I had played around with as a kid, friendly plastic. I've given up on this being a useful form of copper sulfate to work with, the goo binds everything, I had a little luck with acetone, but the yield made it pointless.
There's a lesson here: If you're an amateur chemist looking for copper sulfate to grow blue crystals, buy the root killer stuff. It's already crystalline, and doesn't have the binders.