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Qualitative Analysis

Qualitative Analysis is a method used primarily for the detection of a particular compound in a sample substance, without measuring values related to quantity. Common qualitative tests include the flame test for identification of certain elements; the acid test for the identification of gold; and the bead test for the identification of metals in minerals. Although these tests are purely qualitative, many chemists today have attempted to combine qualitative tests with quantitative tests in order to remove any internal bias from the observer. In the flame test, color determination can be very subjective; and a certain bias may falsely identify a certain element. For example, a green flame would indicate that copper (II) was present in the sample substance; while a bright green flame would indicate that boron was present in the sample substance. Such distinction to an observer may not be obvious, and so quantitative analysis may be implemented to remove any bias. In this context, a flame colorimeter might be used to measure the wavelengths of the light being emitted from the flame as well as the intensity. Thus, the use of qualitative analysis in conjunction with quantitative analysis has been the preferred method of experimental analysis for the identification and detection of certain compounds within a sample substance.

Categories within Qualitative Analysis

Flame Test

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The Flame Test is a qualitative analytical procedure used to detect the presence of certain elements by the color it burns under a flame.