Classical Qualitative Inorganic Analysis

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This Demonstration shows the steps in the qualitative analysis of an unknown mixture of cations in an aqueous solution, without the formation of insoluble precipitates. This is a classic procedure, long since superseded by spectroscopic methods, but possibly still useful for teaching chemical laboratory techniques. The following anions are assumed to have been already eliminated: , , and . Other interfering anions are eliminated in the course of the procedures.


The analysis in this Demonstration is based upon separating the different cations into groups, following selective precipitations due to the common ion effect, which, in turn, is pH related. Each precipitate must be washed at each separation, according to the standard procedures of analytical chemistry. Our choice is to represent the solution path through the vertical flow line, while the precipitates are represented by horizontal flow arrows. The bifurcations show the division of the solution into different portions. A