Blowpipe analysis of minerals
Analysis is the determination of the chemical elements in a compound. If only the presence or absence of the elements is ascertained, the analysis is called “qualitative.” if their amounts are determined it is called “quantitative.” A few elementary methods of qualitative analysis will be considered here.
Minerals are, in general, insoluble in water and many of them are insoluble in acids. Their examination by the “wet” methods of chemical analysis usually require a preliminary fusion and solution to obtain solutions that can be used for the normal “wet-way” analysis. With the blowpipe, analytical tests are applied directly to the mineral and are quickly carried out with very little material and with very simple, easily portable apparatus and reagents. Blowpipe analysis is sometimes called “dry-way” analysis. It can be carried out easily in the field by a prospector.
A simple blowpipe is a tube bent at right angles, one extremity having a mouth-piece, the other...
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