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Basic principles of qualitative analysis

Assumed we get any sample to find out its compounds or chemical elements. Our first step shouldn't be to switch on the "state of the art" analysis equipment. We should start to solve the basic questions. These information will help us later to specify the final methods.
Main attention is payed to the following points:
* source of the sample
* Is it a liquid or solid under standard conditions
* Solubility in different solvents

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Based on my own experience I recommend the following basic questions and steps:

*** Warning: Always assume the substance is harmful ! - wear protection glasses, don't touch it with your unprotected hands and don't test the flavor ***

1.) What is the source of the samlpe ?
* Is it a natural substance (mineral, water) or an industrial product (cement, acid).
* natural compounds may consist of many different ...

Solution Summary

Use of the general colligative properties of a sample like solubility, phase, color, melting- and boiling point. The idea behind this article is that simple tests may help us to avoid costs and finding the right answer without uneccessary effort. This article is mostly focused on inorganic compunds with which a student is confronted at the begin of his studies.