School Science Lessons.
2016-08-14 SP MF
Please send comments to: J.Elfick@uq.edu.au
Appendix A, Chemical compounds by chemical name
Chemical names used in this document are usually the standard names followed
See 7.2.2: Elements and chemical reactions | See 19.4.0 Food chemistry | E number
= food additive
Chemical Name, Molecular formula, synonyms or similar or mineral, (notes
Acetic anhydride, (CH3CO)2O, highly volatile liquid,
irritating odour because acetic acid forms by reaction with moisture in air,
corrosive to skin, eyes and gut, low toxicity because converts to acetic
acid, natural component of the human diet.
Acetic anhydride with water becomes acetic acid by hydrolysis, heat is
evolved, but the reaction catalysed by the acetic acid formed is
not dangerous if < 25 mL used.
Prepare acetate esters from alcohols by reaction with acetic anhydride.
Reactions with water hazardous, with alcohols vigorous if acid catalysts
present, with boric acid, chromium (VI) oxide, permanganate
salts, nitric acid and metal peroxides may be explosive.
Acetic acid, CH3CO2H, CH3COOH, ethanoic
acid, weak acid, Ka small, colourless, mobile liquid, r.d. glacial acetic
acid, 17 M,
1.05 gm cm-3, b.p. 118oC, solidifies 16.7oC,
conc. 17.5 M, dilute 6 M, miscible with water, pungent odour, "glacial"
(vinegar, eisel, is about 5% acetic acid, sour wine), E260, (anti-bacterial
medicine, clean toilets, stain remover, dissolves grease, mild
Common names: white vinegar, (5%). Vinegar is a weak 4-5 % solution of
acetic acid, C2H4O2.
Pure acetic acid is a colourless liquid that solidifies to ice like crystals
in cold weather so is called glacial acetic acid.
Acetic acid is a weak acid, but, like citric acid and tartaric acid,
it forms carbon dioxide with chalk, baking soda, and forms hydrogen
with iron filings and zinc.
Acetic acid is used in the manufacture of artificial silk, non-flam celluloid.
By treating copper with acetic acid in the presence of air a green-blue
pigment forms called verdigris, i.e. impure copper acetate.
Acetone, CH3COCH3, (CH3)2C=O,
dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone, clear colourless volatile liquid, characteristic
inflammable, r.d. 0.79 gm cm-3, b.p. 56.5oC, miscible
with water and ether and oils, sharp sweet taste, characteristic odour,
resins, primers, plastics, UN CAS No 1090. Acetone is a curing agent
for epoxy resin adhesives, surface coating, irritant.
Use acetone in a fume cupboard or use < 50 mL in a well-ventilated
Acetone react violently with chloroform.
Use ethyl acetate or methyl isobutyl ketone as alternative solvent to
Heat acetone on a water bath, NOT on a naked flame.
Junior secondary students should use acetone only as a cold solvent,
and they should NOT react or heat acetone.
Acetone dissolves polystyrene packing pieces rapidly by dissolving the
Common names: Nail polish remover, (not in Australia), e.g. "Cutex",
paint remover, paint thinner, (more acetone per volume), may be
sold as "pure acetone".
Aluminium oxide, Al2O3, alumina, corundum, amphoteric
oxide, almost insoluble in water, (used for leaching minerals), lung irritation,
Toxic if inhaled, alumina, (porcelain), amphoteric, corundum, (hardness
9, abrasive, sand paper, in red ruby, in blue sapphire),
diamantine, emery powder, (abrasive), corroded aluminium, (bauxite, hydrated
aluminium oxides Al2O3.nH2O + laterite),
hydrate for craft, alumina has amorphous or crystalline state in corundum
and bauxite powder used for thin-layer chromatography
Low cost purchase from pottery supplies store.
Alum, potassium alum, "common alum", potash alum, hydrated potassium
aluminium sulfate, hydrated aluminium potassium sulfate,
aluminium potassium sulfate 12-hydrate, kalinite,
a double sulfate of aluminium, the "alum" sold at grocery shops.
Aluminium potassium sulfate is very astringent and is used for purifying
or AlK(SO4)2.12H2O or
The original "alum" was the hydrated double salt of aluminium and potassium
with colourless octahedral crystals and an astringent taste,
used for mordants before dyeing cloth. Later the term "alum" was used
to describe similar double sulfates where other elements, or
radicals replaced aluminium or potassium.
So an "alum" is a hydrated aluminium potassium sulfate and related minerals.
Some plants with astringent roots are called alum roots.
Aluminium ions form alums that are complex hydrated metal sulfates that
contain 12 or 24 H2O.
Aluminium potassium sulfate is a buffer and firming agent, E522.
Ammonium alum, AlNH4(SO4)2.12H2O.
Chrome alum, chromium (III) potassium sulfate, potassium chromium sulfate,
CrK(SO4)2.12H2O or K2SO4.Cr2(SO4)3.24H2O,
tanning, mordant, photography. purple or violet-red octahedral crystals.
Aluminium sulfate octadecahydrate, Al2(SO4)3.18H2O,
wrongly "alum", E520, foam agent in fire extinguishers, water filter powder,
flocculation agent, food additive E520, modifier, precipitator in sewage
treatment, mordant, paper sizing, for 0.l M solution, 66 g of
hydrated salt in 1 L water.
Ammonium carbonate, (NH4)2CO3, sal volatile,
aromatic spirits of ammonia, hartshorn salt, ammonium sesquicarbonate, bakers'
ammonia, crystal ammonia, colourless crystals or white powder, ammonia-like
odour, very soluble, decomposes in hot water, E503,
(commercial ammonium carbonate is double salt, ammonium hydrogen carbonate,
(ammonium aminomethanoate, carbamate),
NH4HCO3.NH2COONH4, that releases
ammonia, in sal volatile, smelling salts).
Ammonium carbonate is a white powder and is fairly soluble in water to
form a weak alkali.
Ammonium chloride, NH4Cl, salmiac, sal ammoniac, colourless,
odourless, cubic crystals or crystal mass, white granular powder,
sublimes without melting, weakly hygroscopic, saline taste, (soldering
flux, dry cell flux in torch battery), the mineral occurs in burning
coal piles and volcanoes.
Ammonium dichromate, (NH4)2Cr2O7,
ammonium bichromate, orange-red monoclinic crystals, heat decomposes,
(Not "ammonium bichromate").
The hazardous properties of this salt are similar to those of other soluble
chromate and dichromate salts.
Ammonium dichromate, along with other yellow chromate and orange dichromate
salts is believed to be carcinogenic.
An ammonium dichromate is unusual in that it undergoes an exothermic
decomposition on heating to form green chromium (III) oxide,
nitrogen gas and water. Start the reaction with a lighted match. The
reaction continues because it is exothermic.
This reaction is NOT dangerous if only small quantities of material
The reaction is dangerous if particles of undecomposed ammonium dichromate
are projected into the air and inhaled.
Ammonium dichromate is often used in "volcano" experiments.
Anthraquinone, C14H8O2, (9,10-dioxanthracene),
light grey crystal or powder, (in plant pigments, cochineal, alizarin
(laxative in senna pods, cascara, rhubarb), Anthraquinone-2-sulfonate,
sodium anthraquinone-2-sulfonate, harmful if ingested.
Aqua regia, "royal water", [1 part concentrated HNO3 + 3 parts
concentrated HCl], [3:1 (v/v) HCl/HNO3],
[commercial: HNO3 70%, HCl >25%], dissolves gold so "king of metals"
to form AuCl4, most other acids cannot attack gold so
aqua regia is called "the acid test" of gold, dissolves platinum to form
Boric acid, H3BO3, boracic acid, orthoboric acid,
trioxyboric (III) acid, colourless, odourless, white to transparent, triclinic
m.p. about 160oC, if heated decomposes to anhydride B2O3,
occurs near fumaroles, (sold in pure form as a powder as eye medicine,
disinfectant, insecticide), E284.
Use boric acid to prepare children's clothing flame retardant. Common
names: Boric acid, "cockroach killer".
1. Cis-isomer of butenedioic acid, maleic acid, C4H4O4,
HO2CCHCHCO2H, HCOOHC:CHCOOH, cis-butenedioic acid,
Maleic acid, maleinic acid, malanic acid, toxilic acid.
Heated maleic acid forms maleic anhydride, C4H2O3,
Poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride), maleic copolymer, (4:1 mole ratio
of styrene: maleic anhydride ).
2. Trans-isomer of butenedioic acid, Fumaric acid, HOOCCH:CHCOOH, (in
Krebs cycle), fumaric acid, (fumarates),
fruity taste, Food acid E297, in Fumaria officinalis, mushrooms,
Calcium carbide, CaC2, calcium dicarbide, calcium acetylide,
carbide, acetylenogen, ethnide dicarbide, Toxic by all routes.
Calcium carbide, called "carbide", acetylenogen, was used in carbide
lamps in cave explorer lamps, formerly in bicycle headlamps
and underground mines.
Many fires and explosions resulted from these lamps and they are now rarely
The main hazard with calcium carbide is the ignition of air / acetylene
A violent explosion may occur, depending on the proportions of air and
Acetylene, when undiluted with air, burns with a smoky flame.
Before igniting acetylene, be sure that it is NOT mixed with air.
Commercial calcium carbide usually contains sulfur and phosphorus compounds
that react with water to form strongly smelling gaseous
impurities that act as a convenient indicator for the presence of acetylene.
Calcium carbonate, CaCO3, powder, almost insoluble in water
unless dissolved CO2 present, calcite, chalk, limestone, Iceland
marble chips, marble whiting, whiting, chalk, calc spar, pearl, coral,
egg shells, whitewash, calcimine, seashells, (in antacid medicines
to suppress reflux), Vienna lime, E170 firming agent food additive, heated
in a lime kiln to form lime CaO, powdered abalone or oyster
shell used as folk medicine, (school chalk, but usually school chalk
is calcium sulfate).
"Plasticine", modelling clay, is said to contain calcium carbonate,
stearic acid, petroleum jelly, whiting, ten pigments, formerly "Harbutt's
plasticine", "Plastilina" is a similar product.
Common names: chunks: marble, limestone, powder: precipitated chalk.
Calcium chloride, anhydrous, granular, CaCl2, white granules
or lumps, very hygroscopic, m.p. 772oC, (drying agent, desiccant),
used to form calcium metal, sold as laundry booster, de-icing chemical,
harmful if ingested. Calcium chloride dihydrate, CaCl2.2H2O.
Common names: Laundry aid, laundry salt, road salt, (de-icing agent but
must be pure calcium chloride).
Calcium dihydrogenphosphate, Ca(H2PO4)2.H2O,
calcium phosphate monobasic, calcium dihydrogenphosphate monohydrate,
calcium dihydrogen phosphate (V), calcium tetrahydrogen di-orthophosphate,
calcium dihydrogen phosphate, leavening agent in baking
Calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2, 0.02 M, saturated solution, 1.5
g Ca(OH)2 per litre. Calcium hydroxide solution, lime water,
10 g in 1 L of water, shake, allow it to settle, then decant the clear
liquid. Common names: slaked lime, garden lime.
Calcium hypochlorite, Ca(OCl)2, bleaching powder, (technical
grade: available chlorine, 65%), bleaching agent,
chlorinated lime, chloride of lime, calcium oxychloride grey-white powder,
irritating odour, exothermic when dissolved in water, may
explode if NOT stored securely, (bleaching powder contains both calcium
hypochlorite, [calcium chlorate (I), chlorinated lime] and
calcium hydroxide, water sanitizing, whitening agent, "solid chlorine"
is 70% chlorine for swimming pools).
Bleaching powder forms chlorine gas that is highly irritant to the lungs.
If acid is added to bleaching powder, large amounts of chlorine are produced.
The mixture becomes hot and may boil violently.
Do not add concentrated ammonia to bleaching powder because nitrogen
trichloride, because NCl3, may form.
This is a violently unstable liquid, liable to explode without apparent
Bleaching powder is a convenient source of chlorine gas for other experiments.
Add dilute hydrochloric acid from a dropping funnel to a slurry of bleaching
powder and water, in a conical flask fitted with a rubber
stopper and gas collection system.
Keep a solution of sodium hydroxide nearby to stop the reaction.
Adding sodium hydroxide solution to the mixture does not pose any problems.
Dispose of the waste mixture by diluting it with water and washing it
down the drain.
CaO, calcium oxide, lime, quicklime, lump lime, caustic lime, burnt lime,
E529, thermoluminescent in oxy-hydrogen flame to cause
"limelight", used in agriculture for excess soil acidity, sold in building
supplies shops, Toxic if ingested or by skin contact.
Calcium oxide does not occur naturally.
Calcium phosphate, Ca3O8P2, Ca3(PO4)2,
β-calcium phosphate tribasic, β-tricalcium phosphate, tert-calcium phosphate,
tri-calcium (ortho)phosphate, calcium phosphate (V), white powder, insoluble,
from apatite mineral Ca5(PO4)3(OH,F,Cl),
phosphate, from animal bones and teeth, (used for fertilizer, facilitates
uptake of DNA into cells, "bone ash" for craft), E341 Calcium
phosphates, (buffer, sequestrant), formerly "calcium orthophosphate".
Calcium sulfate, CaSO4, gypsum, CaSO4.2H2O,
powder, calcium sulfate dihydrate, calcium sulfate (VI), calcium hemihydrate,
It occurs as plaster of Paris, CaSO4.
potters' plaster, school chalk, blackboard chalk, selenite, craft modelling
It can be shaped before setting.
It occurs in evaporating lakes.
Calcium sulfate is used as a stain remover and has anti-inflammatory
action in the human body.
Common names: Plaster of Paris CaSO4.H2O.
(The term "alabaster" may refer to gypsum, or calcite, called "onyx-marble".)
Mixtures of gypsum and bentonite provide low electrical resistance around
anodes and earthing rods.
Chromium (VI) oxide
Chromium (VI) oxide, chromium trioxide, CrO3, (chromic acid
anhydride), Toxic, dark red powder.
Chromium (VI) oxide was formerly a glass cleaning solution called "chromic
acid", prepared by mixing a metal chromate or
dichromate with concentrated acid in a chromate salt solution.
However, this solution is dangerous and other glass cleaning detergent
solutions should be used.
Chromium (VI) oxide, forms explosive mixtures with combustibles or organic
Chromic trioxide is a powerful oxidizing agent.
Commercial: Chromic acid, polymer-supported.
Do NOT use chromic acid for glass cleaning in school science laboratories.
Chromium (III) oxide
Chromium (III) oxide, Cr2O3, chromium oxide, chromium
trioxide, chromic oxide, chrome green, chromia, green chromium oxide for
Citric acid, HOC(COOH)(CH2COOH)2, colourless to
white crystalline powder readily soluble in water, odourless, translucent,
orthorhombic crystals or granules, "2-hydroxy propane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic
acid", m.p. about 100oC, slightly deliquescent in moist air,
loses water of crystallization in dry air, (lemon juice), store in tight
containers, very weak acid, with little corrosive action, sour taste of
lemons, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits, also gooseberries and raspberries,
caused by the citric acid in them, an ingredient in artificial
In health salts, citric acid acts with sodium bicarbonate in the mixture
to produce the fizz when the mixture is added to water.
Used for making up buffer solutions and forming citrate salts.
Also, "2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylic acid", is about 10% dry weight
Lemon juice is used as deodorizer, mild bleach, cleaner.
Cobalt (II) nitrate
Cobalt (II) nitrate hexahydrate, Co(NO3)2.6H2O,
cobalt (II) nitrate hydrated, cobaltous nitrate, cobalt nitrate, (OXD
harmful if ingested, red, deliquescent, monoclinic crystals, m.p. 50o
to 60oC, in dyes and inks.
Cobalt (II) oxide
Cobalt (II) oxide, CoO, cobalt oxide, cobaltous oxide, green orange to
pink solid, craft blue glaze, do NOT inhale.
Copper (II) carbonate
Copper (II) carbonate basic, CuCO3.Cu(OH)2, cupric
carbonate basic, basic copper carbonate, (azurite, malachite), cupric carbonate,
green precipitate, Bremen blue, green verditer, craft green glaze, verdigris
on copper exposed to atmosphere.
Copper (II) chloride
Copper (II) chloride, CuCl2, cupric chloride, brown-yellow
powder, covalent, green fireworks, copper (II) chloride dihydrate,
Copper (I) oxide
Copper (I) oxide, Cu2O, cuprous oxide, red copper oxide, ruby
copper, cuprite, for craft, red solid, insoluble, (to make red glass).
Copper (II) sulfate
Copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate, CuSO4.5H2O, blue
vitriol, cupric sulfate pentahydrate, copper (II) sulfate hydrated,
copper (II) sulfate(VI)-5-water, blue, triclinic crystals, efflorescent
in dry air, hold on to water of crystallization in hot dry air but
anhydrous at 250oC, bluestone, blue vitriol, blue vitriol,
bluestone, blue copperas, (chalcanthite mineral, CuSO4.5H2O
metallic taste and is slightly poisonous),
Bordeaux mixture is copper sulfate and lime used as a fungicide, wood
preservative, "Root Eater", "Bluestone" algaecide, harmful and
Copper (II) sulfate dissolves easily in water to form an acid solution.
The crystals contain water of crystallization, which forms as steam when
the crystals are heated.
It is poisonous if ingested, (swallowed), by skin contact, in contact
with wounded skin.
Use eye and skin protection, (safety glasses and gloves), where splashes
Do NOT breathe in copper (II) sulfate powder.
If swallowed or skin contact occurs immediately flush the eye or skin
or wash out the mouth with plenty of water.
Some school systems do NOT allow primary children access to copper (II)
However, show children the beautiful blue crystals.
harmful to organisms in the environment but dispose small amounts down
the sink with plenty of water.
The white anhydrous copper sulfate is used to test chemically for water.
Copper sulfate is poisonous and should not be put into vessels used in
Common names: Blue vitriol, cupric sulfate, "Rooto Root Kill".
Copper (II) ferrocyanide
Cu2Fe(CN)6, Hatchett's Brown dye, Traube's colloidal
solution, (used to remove caesium and strontium from radioactive waste),
red-brown copper (II) ferrocyanide.
Potassium ferrocyanide precipitates red-brown copper (II) ferrocyanide
from Cu2+ solutions:.
2Cu2+ (aq) + [Fe(CN)6]4- (aq) <==>
Devardas alloy, AlCuZn, powder, 50% Cu, 45% Al, 5% Zn, tests for NO3-,
reaction with NaOH strongly exothermic.
hexamethylenediamine, (1,6-hexanediamine), HMDA, hexamine, methenamine,
ethylenediamine, store in refrigerator, strongly alkaline, (use <
1,6-Diaminohexane is used to make nylon polymer, hexamine fuel tablets,
(heat tablets, Esbit), preservative food additive E239,
(not approved, USA, Australia), Flammable, irritant.
1,4-Dichlorobenzene, C6H4Cl2, m.p. 53oC,
crystalline, p-dichlorobenzene, p-DCB, para-dichlorobenzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzol,
"dichlorobenzene", colourless, strong odour, deodorant, (solid blocks
deodorant in male toilets), pesticide, replacement for naphthalene
Use ethanol to prepare dilute solutions.
Substitute hexadecan-1-ol or octadecan-1-ol for melting point curve experiments.
Dichloromethane, anhydrous, CH2Cl2, methylene chloride,
methylene dichloride, Freon 30, colourless liquid, b.p. 41oC,
(refrigerant, degreasing, cleaning fluid, paint remover, solvent), ozone-depleting
chemical so use very small amounts,
Use ethanol as solvent for dilute solutions.
Disodium hydrogen phosphate, Na2HPO4, sodium phosphate
dibasic, disodium phosphate, sodium hydrogen phosphate,
disodium hydrogen orthophosphate (V), sodium phosphate dodecahydrate,
white monoclinic or rhombic crystals or granules,
r.d. 1.5, m.p. 34oC to 35oC, easily loses H2O,
E339 (II), anticaking agent, retards boiler scale.
Formaldehyde solution, ACS reagent, 37 wt. % in H2O, contains
10-15% Methanol as stabilizer (to prevent polymerization)
HCHO, CH2O (aq), gas readily soluble in water, methanal, (+10%
methanol), formalin: 40% methanal solution, (disinfectant, plastics).
Do NOT mix with HCl because carcinogenic bis(chloromethyl) ether may
form, so do NOT dispose formaldehyde and HCl in the
Formaldehyde, (methanal), is highly poisonous and probably carcinogenic
and should be handled with extreme care.
Formaldehyde is transported and stored as a concentrated aqueous solution
When a bottle of formaldehyde is opened, a large amount of gas may be
Do NOT inhale the formaldehyde gas.
Do experiments with concentrated formaldehyde solutions in a fume cupboard.
However, dilute formaldehyde solutions produce little formaldehyde and
can be safely handled in the open laboratory.
Preserve biological specimens in a solution of 50% ethanol and 50% water,
instead of formaldehyde solution.
Do not mix hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde solution because highly
carcinogenic bis(chloromethyl) ether may form.
Do NOT store bottles of hydrochloric acid near formaldehyde because the
reaction might occur in the air.
Do NOT dispose of formaldehyde solutions and hydrochloric acid in the
same sink system.
Formic acid, HCOOH, methanoic acid, conc. 46 M, hydrogen carboxylic acid,
in ants and stinging nettles, most simple carboxylic acid.
Formic acid is highly poisonous and should be treated with care.
It is highly volatile and the vapour should NOT be inhaled.
Formic acid is the only simple aliphatic carboxylic acid to possess reducing
properties because of the presence of a (-CHO)
component in the molecular structure.
Formic acid is both an aldehyde and a carboxylic acid.
HCOOH + H2O <--> H3O+ + HCOO-,
Ka = 1.8 × 10-4.
Fuchsine, (fuchsin), C20H19N3.HCl, rosaniline
hydrochloride, triphenylmethane dyestuff, magenta dye, dark green crystals
in water form
purple red solution, (the colour of flowers of Fuchsia, Onagraceae),
disinfectant for skin infections, stain bacteria, (not "fuchsin"), basic
fuchsine has variable contents including rosaniline and similar compounds,
used in Schiff's reagent test for aldehydes, acid fuchsine is
mixture of basic fuchsine + sulfonic groups to decolorize it.
1. Basic Fuchsin, C19H17N3.HCl, dye,
Basic Parafuchsin, Basic Red 9, Magenta O, Parafuchsin hydrochloride, Paramagenta
hydrochloride, Pararosaniline chloride, Pararosaniline hydrochloride.
2. Basic Fuchsin, C20H20ClN3 for microscopy,
indicator (pH 1.0-3.1), Basic Violet 14, Fuchsin basic, Magenta, Rosaniline.
2. Acid Fuchsin, C20H17N3Na2O9S3,
for tissue staining, Acid Violet 19, Fuchsin S, Fuchsin acid, RubineS.
Glucose, C6H12O6, "D-(+)-Glucose", dextrose,
glucose syrup, grape sugar, dextrose monohydrate, d-glucose, blood sugar,
anhydrous, glucose, (for babies), "Glucodin".
Glucose is called grape sugar because of its occurrence in grapes.
In table syrup, black treacle, ripe apples and cheap sweetening material
for confectionery and sweets, e.g. barley sugar.
Glucose is only half as sweet as sucrose, sugar but is more easily digested.
It is manufactured by boiling starch with dilute sulfuric acid.
Glucose is a carbohydrate, the hydrogen and oxygen being in the same
proportion as in water.
Common names: Corn syrup.
Glycerol, HOCH2CH(OH)CH2OH, CH2OH.CHOH.CH2OH,
(1,2,3-Propanetriol), glycerin, glycerine, clear, viscous, colourless
odourless syrupy fluid that readily absorbs moisture, propane-123-triol,
propane-1, 2, 3-triol, glycerin jelly, b.p. 290oC, and
decomposes, r.d. 1.26, absorbs water from air, miscible, soluble in water
and alcohol, sweet taste and no smell and has no action on
Glycerol is used in cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoo, loosens stains, medical
uses, manufacture of explosives and shaving cream.
It is by-product of the manufacture of soap.
Discovered by K. W. Scheele, 1779, who heated olive oil with lithage.
H2O2, "peroxide", peroxide, (of hydrogen), bleach,
antiseptic, wastewater treatment for BOD, (biological oxygen demand) .
Contact with the eyes can cause serious long-term damage.
Corrosive solution can cause skin burns.
Decomposition may cause oxygen pressure build-up.
Tightly sealed bottles of hydrogen peroxide may explode due to a build
up of pressure of oxygen gas.
Forms potentially explosive compounds with ketones, (acetone), alcohols,
(ethanol), esters, glycerine, (glycerol), aniline, triethylamine
and sodium carbonate.
Do not mix hydrogen peroxide with powdered Mg, Zn or Al. A 3% solution
It decomposes slowly in storage to yield water and oxygen.
It can decompose rapidly in the presence of catalysts.
It is difficult to transport because of regulations governing is transport
by air, sea and land.
It is sold as a colourless solution for disinfecting and for bleaching
hair, silk, and wool.
It readily parts with one of its two oxygen atoms and forms water.
These oxygen atoms cause the disinfecting and bleaching actions.
The strengths of the solutions usually sold are marked as 10 volume and
20 volume, that refer to the volume of oxygen given by 1 cc
of the liquid.
So 20 volume means that 1 cc of the solution yields 20 cc of oxygen.
If possible buy a small bottle of 20 volume solution.
It is usually kept in dark glass bottles, because light hastens the decomposition
into water and oxygen.
Commercial: Hydrogen peroxide solution, 30 % (w/w) in H2O,
MSDS: harmful if swallowed. Risk of serious damage to the eyes.
Heating may cause an explosion. Contact with combustible material may
harmful by inhalation and if swallowed. Causes severe burns.
Hydrogen peroxide concentration 30% solution is not permitted in schools.
Iron (II) ammonium
Ammonium iron (II) sulfate hexahydrate, (NH4)2Fe(SO4)2.6H2O,
ammonium ferrous sulfate hexahydrate, ammonium iron (II) sulfate,
Mohr's salt, ferrous ammonium sulfate, ammonium iron (II) sulfate, ammonium
ferrous sulfate, 0.1 M solutions used to test cations,
iron (II) compounds can be oxidized by air, but acidified solutions are
Iron (II) sulfate
Iron (II) sulfate heptahydrate, FeSO4.7H2O, ferrous
sulfate heptahydrate, green vitriol, copperas, wood preservative, inks,
crystals, dissolve in water to form neutral solution, crystals turn brown
if exposed to air when oxygen of the air converts iron (II)
sulfate into brown sulfate of iron, iron (III) sulfate, ferric sulfate.
Keep crystals stored in a sealed container.
The same change when a solution iron (II) sulfate is heated.
Prepare a solution of iron (II) sulfate by shaking the powdered crystals
with cold water.
Green vitriol was used in industry to make ink.
Iron (III) chloride
Iron (III) chloride hexahydrate, FeCl3.6H2O, ferric
chloride hexahydrate, (FeCl3, ferric chloride anhydrous), iron
trichloride, flores martis, black-brown, catalyst, 20% solution used
for printed circuit board etchant but use eye protection and gloves,
iron (III) chloride hexahydrate, 0.1 M electrochemistry solution, harmless.
Iron (III) oxide
Iron (III) oxide, Fe2O3, ferric oxide, iron sesquioxide,
ferric sesquioxide, rust, red iron oxide, red ferric oxide, ferric oxide
iron oxide, haematite, hematite, magnetite, brown red powder, yellow
brown pigment, red ochre, burnt ore, burnt ochre, jewellers rouge
polish, Venetian red, crocus powder, source of iron, mixed with red clay
for liver function.
Iron (III) oxide hydrated, Fe(OH)O, ferric hydroxide oxide, catalyst
Lead (II) ethanoate
Lead (II) acetate trihydrate, Pb(CH3COO)2.3H2O,
lead (II) acetate, lead acetate, m.p. 75oC, sugar of lead,
white to colourless,
monoclinic crystals or granules, slowly efflorescent, absorbs CO2
from air and becomes insoluble, test paper for H2S.
Lead (II) acetate basic, anhydrous, 72% for sugar analysis
Lead (II) nitrate
Lead (II) nitrate, Pb(NO3)2, lead dinitrate, lead
nitrate, white to colourless, translucent cubic or monoclinic crystals, decomposes
470oC, the only common soluble lead compound, forms explosive
mixture with combustible materials, e.g. S, P, metal powders,
heated solid forms highly toxic nitrogen dioxide, test for anions: forms
bright yellow precipitate of lead iodide, with sodium or
Lead (II) oxide
Lead (II) oxide, PbO, yellow lead oxide, flux, lead monoxide, lead protoxide,
massicott, yellow amorphous powder, fused and
crystalline form called litharge used as pigment in glass and enamels.
Lead (II/IV) oxide
Lead (II, IV) oxide, Pb3O4, (2PbO.PbO2),
minium, red lead oxide, trilead tetraoxide, red lead, triplumbic tetroxide,
Toxic by all routes, cumulative poison.
It reacts violently with Al and Mg powders and some organic materials.
Do NOT heat lead (II, IV) oxide on a charcoal block.
Old paints may contain > 30% lead but nowadays may contain only <
1% lead, bright red or orange, pigment.
Lead (II/IV) oxide forms insoluble iron (II) plumbate and iron (III)
plumbate with iron and iron oxides, so it is used in anti-corrosive
lead paints, especially rustproof primer paints.
However, lead tetroxide is soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid so it can
dissolve in the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and act as a
Lead (II/IV) oxide is NOT soluble in water so it can be used in lead
It is used to make lead cell accumulators, (car batteries, lead-acid
batteries), and flux.
Minium stone is used for craft and smelting.
Magnesium carbonate basic, MgCO3, (3MgCO3.Mg(OH)2.3H2O),
magnesium hydroxide carbonate, magnesium carbonate basic,
light powder, magnesite, (carbonate of magnesia for craft), [food additive
E504, drying agent, (desiccant), and anti-caking agent in
table salt], (a mild laxative and Antacid medicine), heat resistant
products, (dolomite MgCO3.CaCO3).
Magnesium chloride anhydrous, MgCl2, magnogene, magnesium
dichloride, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, MgCl2.6H2O,
magnesium chloride crystals, (hygroscopic), E511, electrolysed to form
magnesium metal, used in de-icers, ice melts.
Common names: Lushui, (used to make tofu from soy milk.).
Magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)2, harmful, powder irritates eyes
and skin, brucite, weak solubility so weak base, absorbs carbon
dioxide from the air in presence of water,
The hydrated form of magnesium hydroxide, called milk of magnesia, is
a laxative and antacid medicine), E528.
(Magnesium hydroxide nanopowder, <100 nm particle size).
Magnesium nitrate hexahydrate, Mg(NO3)2.6H2O,
magnesium nitrate hexahydrate, AAS Solution, oxidizing, (OXD 1474),
explosive mixtures with organic compounds and combustible materials,
For 0.1 M solution, 25.6 g in 1 L water, Toxic if ingested.
Magnesium sulfate anhydrous, magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, MgSO4.7H2O,
hydrated magnesium sulfate heptahydrate,
Epsom salts, (natural spring of water at Epsom in Surrey, England with
allegedly health giving properties), epsomite, kieserite,
colourless to white, odourless, rhombic crystals or granules, the white
needle-shaped crystals dissolve easily in water forming a
neutral solution, loses water of crystallization to dry air and possibly
microwaves and even sound waves to form green powder
hexahydrate MgSO4.6H2O, anhydrous at 250oC,
bitter salt, (laxative, health salts component, unshrinking woollen clothing,
fireproofing, plant fertilizer to prevent yellow between leaf veins and
curling of leaves, bath relaxant, exfoliates dry skin, relieves sore
joints, stops constipation, solution to reduce camellia bud drop, crystal
gardens experiments, test for Ba and Sn cations).
In hot weather loses some water of crystallization, so bright crystalline
appearance becomes frosted white.
Common names: Epsom salts.
Manganese (IV) oxide
Manganese (IV) oxide, MnO2, manganese dioxide, manganese black,
manganese dioxide, "black oxide of manganese", in pyrolusite,
black powder resembling carbon in appearance.
Manganese (IV) oxide can be distinguished from carbon because it does
NOT burn away when heated on a metal lid,
forms a wine-coloured borax bead, (catalyst, oxidizing agent, depolarizer
in dry cells, e.g. flashlight batteries).
Used as catalyst for decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.
Do NOT use for thermal decomposition of potassium chlorate.
Hydrated manganese oxide in some medicines for schizophrenics and diabetics.
Industrial use in the preparation of chlorine gas and as a catalyst in
the preparation of oxygen.
Common names: Pyrolusite, (in some dry cell batteries.).
Mercury (I) chloride
Mercury (I) chloride, Hg2Cl2, calomel, mercurous
chloride horn quicksilver, white crystals, r.d. 7.15, sublimes at 400oC,
electrode in calomel electric cells, mercury electrode in potassium
chloride solution + calomel)
Calomel is found with cinnabar mineral.
Formerly used as a laxative.
Mercury (I) nitrate,
Mercury (I) nitrate dihydrate, Hg2(NO3)2.2H2O,
mercurous nitrate dihydrate, forms explosive mixtures with combustible
and organic compounds. The pure chemical has low toxicity if ingested.
Used in redox reactions and metal displacement reactions.
Millon's reagent contains mercury (I) nitrate, mercurous nitrate, in nitrous
Mercury (I) nitrate was formerly used in the manufacture of felt hats,
caused tremors in the workers and leading to the term "mad as
a hatter", a character in "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll.
Mercury (II) nitrate
Mercury (II) nitrate monohydrate, Hg(NO3)2.H2O,
mercuric nitrate monohydrate.
Highly toxic if ingested, cumulative poison, Highly toxic if ingested
or absorbed through the skin, cumulative poison.
Use eye and skin protection when splashes can occur. Forms explosive
mixtures with combustible materials and organic compounds.
Do NOT heat the solid because mercury vapour and nitrogen dioxide forms.
Do NOT add ethanol to solutions of mercury (II) nitrate in nitric acid
because highly explosive mercury fulminate forms.
Do NOT use for redox reactions. Use < 5 mL of 0.1 M per activity.
Mercury (II) chloride
Mercury (II) chloride, HgCl2, mercuric chloride, mercury bichloride,
mercury sublimate, corrosive sublimate, white crystalline solid,
colourless, odourless, rhombic crystals or granules, r.d. 5.4, m.p. 277oC,
solution is poisonous and very dangerous because the solution
looks like water.
Mercury (II) chloride should NOT be in the school laboratory.
It was formerly used to treat syphilis.
Mercury (II) oxide
Mercury (II) oxide, HgO, mercuric oxide, yellow to orange, dense, odourless
powder, r.d. 11.14, decomposed by light, yellow oxide
of mercury or red oxide of mercury, store in dark bottles
Do NOT heat mercury (II) oxide to form oxygen gas, because highly
toxic mercury vapour forms.
Mixture with powdered sulfur is explosive.
Methanol anhydrous, CH3OH, methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, clear
liquid, distinct odour, volatile, flammable, poisonous, general
laboratory solvent, chromatography solvent, alcohol lamp fuel, (but invisible
flame!), in rust inhibitor fuel additives, methanol and illegal
home-made alcoholic beverages may cause blindness.
Use < 5 mL of 0.1 M per activity or use in a fume cupboard.
Substitute ethanol or methylated spirits as alternative solvent.
Simplest primary amine, poisonous, noxious inflammable gas, fish-like
odour, can be explosive so sold as white deliquescent crystals of
methyamine hydrochloride or as aqueous solution
Methylamine is used in the illegal manufacture of the drug MDMA (ecstasy)
Commercial preparation by reaction of ammonia with methanol with zeolites
CH3OH + NH3 --> CH3NH2
Not permitted in schools
2-Methoxyethanol anhydrous, CH3OCH2CH2OH,
ethylene glycol monomethyl ether, methyl glycol, methyl cellosolve.
Use in a fume cupboard or use <50 mL in a well-ventilated area.
It may cause long-term nerve damage and be teratogenic.
Monosodium glutamate, MSG
L-Glutamic acid monosodium salt hydrate, powder, [C5H8NNaO4.xH2O],
[(S)-2-Aminopentanedioic acid], Glu, MSG, monosodium glutamate, sodium
hydrogen glutamate, white crystals, soluble in water,
flavour enhancer especially for Chinese food, but some people are allergic
to it, formerly from seaweed Laminaria japonica..
Nesslers reagent, K2HgI4, for qualitative determination
of ammonia and ammonium compounds, potassium tetraiodomercurate -
potassium hydroxide, solution
Nessler's reagent is NOT permitted in some school systems because it contains
Nessler's solution, (Julius Nessler 1827-1905), is a solution of mercury
(II) iodide in potassium iodide made alkaline, with sodium
hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.
It may be in a caustic soda solution.
Add reagent to the original solution.
A brown colour or precipitate indicates the presence of ammonium ion.
The test is very sensitive.
A trace of ammonia give a yellow colour but larger amounts of ammonia
give a brown colour or precipitate.
The test solution must contain no NH4+ added during
Nitrobenzene, C6H5NO2, mononitrobenzene,
pale yellow, oily liquid, unpleasant almond odour, poisonous, r.d. 1.2,
Highly toxic by all routes of exposure, possibly carcinogenic. Avoid
inhaling vapour and skin contact so use small quantities
< 25 mL or g in a well-ventilated area.
Nitrobenzene may be explosive when heated.
A solution / mixture < 0.1% is NOT hazardous.
Oxalic acid dihydrate, HO2CCO2H.2H2O, Ethanedioic
acid (COOH)2.2H2O, H2C2O4
+ 2H2O, ethanedioic acid-2-water,
acid of sugar, colourless, white, odourless, monoclinic crystals or granules,
r.d. 1.62, m.p. 101oC - 102oC, sublimes easily above
100oC, decomposed by heat, (in rhubarb and many plants).
Common names: Non-chlorine bleach powder, (cleanser used in bars).
Phosphorus pentoxide, P2O5, phosphoric anhydride,
P4O10, phosphorus (V) oxide, white powder, hexagonal
It reacts violently with water to form phosphoric acid, liberating a large
amount of heat, reacts violently with iodides.
With sodium and potassium metals ignition on contact.
With formic acid forms highly toxic carbon monoxide gas.
Used as a dehydrating agent.
The crust on the surface of old samples is mostly phosphoric acid, but
remove it before using the phosphorus pentoxide beneath.
Phosphoric acid, H3PO4, orthophosphoric acid, phosphoric
(V) acid, crystalline, as solution is colourless, odourless liquid,
conc. 14.7.M, r.d. 1.71 to 1.75, miscible with water and ethanol, "Kill-rust",
E33, weak acid, or, white rhombic solid,
85% W /W, 90% W / W, toilet bowl cleaner.
Phosphoric acid is prepared commercially by heating calcium phosphate
rock with sulfuric acid, prepare by red phosphorus with nitric
Low cost: from hardware stores, rust remover, e.g. "Naval Jelly", "Kill
rust", or, for cleaning concrete, from brewing or wine making
suppliers, from hydroponics suppliers.
Potassium bromide, KBr, colourless, white, cubic crystals or granules,
r.d. 2.75, m.p. 730oC, (photography, formerly a sedative and
supposed to be put in tea of soldiers to control sexual urges), used
to prepare bromine water, For 0.1 M solution, 12 g in 1 L water.
Potassium carbonate, K2CO3 anhydrous, "potash",
(pearl ash, commercial potassium carbonate), salt of tartar, white, odourless
granules, anhydrous potassium carbonate, r.d. 2.29, m.p. 891oC,
(anhydrous is hygroscopic, cakes in moist air), E501, strong
For 0.1 M solution of potassium carbonate, use 13.8 g in water, (soap
making, glass making, sourdough).
Potassium chlorate, KClO3, potassium perchlorate, Berthollet's
salt (Claude Berthollet 1748-1822), colourless, white, odourless,
monoclinic crystals, r.d. 2.32, m.p. 368oC then decomposes,
explodes in contact with sulfur compounds, (in explosives, fireworks and
Do NOT use potassium chlorate to prepare oxygen with manganese
Potassium chloride, KCl, sylvite, (sylvine), mineral, muriate of potash
fertilizer, white, odourless, cubic crystals or powder, slightly
hygroscopic, diet salt substitute, E508, extracted from waters of Dead
Sea, sold as "lite salt".
Low cost: from supermarkets as "sodium free salt", from garden supply
stores as potassium fertilizer.
Potassium chromate, K2CrO4, lemon yellow crystals,
m.p. 975oC, alkaline aqueous solution.
Potassium chromate, as with other chromium (VI) salts, may be carcinogenic
so handle it with care.
However, when used in dilute solution, near neutral pH, it is relatively
When mixed with acid, chromate ions, CrO42-, first
form dichromate ions, Cr2O72-, then chromic
Solutions containing chromic acid are powerfully oxidizing and highly
Do NOT use the cleaning mixture called chromic acid, prepared by dissolving
a metal chromate or dichromate in concentrated
This cleaning mixture is NOT permitted in schools because it is dangerously
corrosive to skin and eyes, and is probably no more
effective as a cleaning agent than strong detergent solutions or a suitable
The reactions of potassium chromate and dichromate with sulfur, carbon,
magnesium, aluminium and phosphorus are dangerous and
are NOT permitted in schools.
Potassium dichromate, K2Cr2O7, potassium
bichromate, red prussiate of potash, ferro prussiate, bichrome, orange
to red, odourless,
monoclinic crystals or granules, r.d. 2.69, m.p. 398oC, strong
oxidizing agent, toxic and fire risk from oxidation.
It was formerly used mixed with sulfuric acid to clean laboratory glassware
but nowadays this procedure NOT permitted in schools.
Oxidation reactions involve the reduction of solutions of chromate or
dichromate ions that cause colour changes from yellow or
orange to pale green or colourless solutions.
The reactions with the formation of an insoluble metal chromate give
brightly coloured precipitates.
Do NOT attempt to isolate these precipitates because they are carcinogenic.
Prepare these precipitates in the smallest quantities that allow them
to be seen.
Do NOT use potassium dichromate solution to colour water for demonstrations.
Used in machines to breath test for alcohol.
Potassium ferricyanide (III), K3Fe(CN)6.3H2O,
( powder K3Fe(CN)6), red prussiate, potassium hexacyanoferrate
potassium ferric cyanide, ruby red, monoclinic crystals, heat decomposes
then melts, r.d. 1.89, case-hardening agent, forms good
crystals, used in redox experiments, Prussian blue dye, chemical analysis
uses characteristic colour reactions, heating with concentrated
sulfuric acid forms carbon monoxide gas, (in dyeing, etching blueprint
Potassium ferricyanide is Highly toxic, boiling with dilute acids forms
Potassium ferricyanide with concentrated ammonia solution may explode.
Potassium ferrocyanide, K4Fe(CN)6.3H2O,
Potassium hexacyanoferrate (II) trihydrate, yellow prussiate,
potassium hexacyanoferrate (II)-3-water, coordination compound, yellow
prussiate of soda, yellow prussiate of potash, prussiate of
potassium, yellow monoclinic crystals or powder, r.d. 1.85, case hardening
agent, used to detect Fe3+ ions, efflorescent, anhydrous
Environmental danger, direct heating of the solid forms cyanogen gas.
Highly toxic, heating with concentrated sulfuric acid forms carbon monoxide
Highly toxic, boiling with dilute acids forms cyanide gas,
Highly toxic, Mixtures with nitrite salts are explosive.
Potassium bicarbonate, KHCO3, potassium hydrogen carbonate,
(impure potassium bicarbonate "American saleratus"), colourless,
odourless, white granules, r.d. 2.17, (used in buffers, baking powder,
aerated waters, antacid medicines, carbon dioxide fire
extinguishers, some detergents, laboratory reagent.
It occurs as calcinite mineral.
Potassium L-tartrate monobasic, (KHC4H4O7),
L(+)-Tartaric acid monopotassium salt, potassium hydrogen L-tartrate,
tartaric acid monopotassium salt, potassium bitartrate,
potassium hydrogen tartrate, tartar, (beeswing), acid potassium tartrate,
white crystalline acid salt, purified form of brown crystals argol,
(used in baking powder, from deposits in wine vats, the "crust" in crusted
port that has finally fermented in the bottle).
Common names: Cream of tartar.
Potassium hydroxide, KOH, caustic potash, lye, potash, white pellets,
KOH "sticks" or rods in water, lumps, flakes, sticks,
very deliquescent, absorbs CO2 and SO2 from air
better than sodium hydroxide because more soluble, used to prepare soft
alkaline storage cells, heat from dissolving in water, r.d. 2.044, m.p.
380oC, E525, potassium lye, damages eyes and body tissues.
KOH, solid, flake, pellets, 1 M analytical reagent, caustic potash
Potassium hydroxide, as a solid or concentrated solution is extremely
corrosive to the skin and eyes.
Always wear safety glasses when handling potassium hydroxide, even with
If potassium hydroxide enters the eye, rinse the eye instantly with water.
Solutions of potassium hydroxide on the skin feel soapy because fats
in the skin are broken down to form anions of fatty acids,
e.g. stearate, palmitate and oleate that give the solution a slippery
When potassium hydroxide dissolves in water, a large amount of heat is
It sometimes causing the solution to boil violently if it has NOT been
stirred, so always stir solutions in that potassium hydroxide is
dissolving to dissipate heat and to provide a uniform concentration throughout
Potassium hydroxide solutions boil at a higher temperature than pure
Hygroscopic so keep in sealed plastic container.
It is more corrosive to eyes than acids.
Potassium iodide, KI, colourless solution, white crystals or granules,
r.d. 3.12, m.p. 698oC, lightly deliquescent in moist air, bitter
separated from potassium iodate by fractional crystallization, becomes
yellow when iodine lost to air, (chemical analysis, photography,
additive to prepare iodized "table salt" to iodine deficiency, e.g. goitre),
(in tincture of iodine medicine, solvent for iodine to form the
brown triiodide ion I3-, KI3 (aq), used
as a test for starch).
Detects presence of Pb2+ ions when yellow precipitate of lead
If KI solutions become yellow from iodine formation add sodium hydrogen
sulfite solution to make solution colourless again.
Potassium permanganate, KMnO4, potassium manganate (VII) (OXD
1490), Condy's crystals, Toxic if ingested, 0.2 M, 0.02 M,
analytical reagent, purple red crystals, dark purple, bronze with metallic
sheen, odourless, rhombic crystals, r.d. 2.7, heat decomposes,
distinct sweet bitter taste, common strong oxidizing agent and disinfectant,
chemistry analytical reagent, MnO4- ion.
Potassium permanganate is a powerful oxidizing agent that forms dangerously
combustible or even explosive mixtures with oxidizable
materials, or combustible materials, e.g. red phosphorus, cyanides, thiosulfates
acetates, sugar, charcoal, sulfur, phosphorus,
ammonium salts, active metal powders, organic compounds.
The solid is also spontaneously flammable on contact with glycerine,
ethylene glycol and other organic compounds.
It forms violently explosive manganese heptoxide on mixing with concentrated
Oxygen gas is formed on heating the solid, but toxic fine particles of
manganese oxides are produced simultaneously, so if the reaction
occurs in a test tube, place a plug of glass wool in the end of the tube
to trap particles.
Do NOT use sulfuric acid for drying oxygen gas from decomposition of
potassium permanganate, because the acid could accidentally
mix with the salt and react explosively.
For preparing oxygen gas, it is safer to use hydrogen peroxide and potassium
permanganate, or hydrogen peroxide with manganese
If potassium permanganate is used for preparation of chlorine gas by reaction
with hydrochloric acid, be sure that the solid is covered
with a layer of water and that hydrochloric acid is used, NOT sulfuric
Acidified solutions are used as an oxidant in organic chemistry for the
oxidation of aldehydes or alcohols.
Neutral solutions are used to distinguish between alkanes and alkenes.
Dilute aqueous solutions of potassium permanganate are relatively harmless
and have been used medicinally for mouthwashes and
Potassium manganate (VII) is NOT a primary standard, so make up an approximate
concentration and titrate it against an ethanoic
acid solution of known concentration. Potassium manganate (VII) crystals
are so dark it is difficult to see if all have dissolved when
making up a solution.
Bottles of potassium manganate (VII) solution may have a brown precipitate
around the top of manganese (IV) oxide, formed when
manganate (VII) ions react with water in the air.
Used to stain wood and furniture.
For water treatment, used for oxidation of Fe2+ --> Fe3+,
and Mn2+ --> Mn4+, remove tastes and odours, disinfectant,
nuisance organisms, control DBD, (dielectric barrier discharge), of ozone.
Used as topical fungicide and antiseptic.
Solution of 1 g per litre controls powdery mildew and black spot plant
However, pink staining causes problems.
Potassium nitrate, KNO3, "saltpetre", (US saltpeter), (occurs
as nitre, niter, Bengali saltpetre), colourless, odourless, trigonal or
crystals or white granules, r.d. 2.11, m.p. 333oC, Preservative
E252, strong oxidizing agent that decomposes at 400oC to lose
(nitrate of potash fertilizer, fireworks, food preservative, explosives,
e.g. gunpowder), E252.
Potassium nitrate is a powerful oxidizing agent and forms explosive mixtures
with most combustible materials.
Potassium nitrate has relatively low toxicity, and can be safely used
in aqueous solution.
Do NOT mix potassium nitrate with charcoal, sulfur, red phosphorus or
active metals, e.g. Na, powdered Al, Mg, cyanides, sulfides,
thiosulfates, ammonium salts, acetates, household sugar or combustible
material, because these mixtures may be explosive.
The demonstration of explosives is NOT permitted in schools.
If testing production of oxygen from heated solid and lighted splint
is accidentally dropped into molten salt, explosion may occur.
Gunpowder, (black powder, black gunpowder), a mixture of potassium nitrate,
charcoal and sulfur,
the explosive propellant formerly used in firearms now superseded for
modern firearms by smokeless powder, a mixture of potassium
Common names: Saltpetre, saltpeter, (used as stump remover, agricultural
fertilizer, meat preserver.).
Potassium nitrite, KNO2, white to yellow deliquescent solid,
m.p. 440oC, explodes above 600oC, used to detect
presence of amino
groups inorganic compounds, reacts with acids to form toxic nitrogen
dioxide gas, that reacts with oxygen in the air to form highly toxic
nitrogen dioxide gas.
Potassium sodium tartrate tetrahydrate, (KNaC4H4O6.4H2O),
KOCOCH(OH)CH(OH)COONa, L(+)-Tartaric acid potassium
sodium salt, Rochelle salt, Seignette salt, Seidlitz powder, double salt
sodium potassium tartrate, potassium sodium tartrate, potassium
sodium 2, 3-dihydroxybutanedioate, saline cooling taste, piezoelectric.
Potassium sulfate, K2SO4, sulfate of potash fertilizer,
E515, white crystalline powder, prepared with potassium carbonate or potassium
hydroxide with sulfuric acid, fertilizer as source of potassium iron
instead of KCl for chlorine-sensitive plants.
Schiffs reagent, mixture of fuchsine and sodium bisulfite or sulfurous
acid to decolorize it that forms red-violet, (magenta purple), colour
in unknown solution as test for aldehydes, called "Schiff's test".
Silica, SiO2, fumed, silicic anhydride, silicon dioxide amorphous,
silicon (IV) oxide, silicon oxide, silicon dioxide, E551, quartz sand.
Silica gel drying agent, (desiccant), is hygroscopic amorphous hydrated
It may have added CoCl2, as a self-indicating moisture test,
Bags of silica gel drying agent are usually included in the packaging
of food and goods that must be kept dry.
The bags usually have the warning: "DO NOT EAT"!
Silica powder is used a non-reactive bulking material in medical tablets.
Silver chloride, (99.999%), AgCl, silver (I) chloride, white solid, cerargyrite,
horn silver, kerargyrite, occurs in silver veins, dissolves in
ammonia solution, (photography emulsions, pottery glaze), expensive!.
Silver nitrate, AgNO3, nitric acid silver (I) salt, large,
odourless, transparent, rhombic crystals or small white crystals, lunar
for cauterizing, r.d. 4.35, m.p. 212oC, water soluble, becomes
dark with organic matter, test for halogens, store in dark-coloured
dropping bottle in a cool dark place.
Use Tollens' reagent to demonstrate the reduction of silver nitrate solution
by formic acid, to form a mirror on the inside of the test-tube.
It forms explosive mixtures with combustibles, e.g. sulfur, phosphorus,
ethanol, metal powders.
Used in redox reactions, metal displacement reactions, testing for chloride
ions, preparation of Tollens' reagent.
Soda lime, CaO/NaOH, ACS reagent, granular, +100 mesh particle size.
Soda lime, CaO/NaOH, with indicator, pellets.
Soda lime, activated, soda lime non-indicating, soda lime self-indicating,
(4-14 mesh sizes).
"NaOH + CaO", mixture of sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide prepared
by dissolving calcium oxide with sodium hydroxide
solution, then drying the products.
Its reaction is milder than NaOH, so is used to avoid violent reactions.
Also, CaO used with NaOH keeps it dry because NaOH is hygroscopic.
Tests for CO2, (if off-white: active, if violet: exhausted).
For anaesthetics, the pH indicator ethyl violet is added to tell whether
the soda lime can still absorb carbon dioxide.
The critical pH is 10.3. It turns from colourless to violet.
Sodium benzoate, C6H5COONa, benzoic acid sodium
salt, sodium benzenecarboxylate, food preservative against yeast and bacteria.
but may cause cirrhosis, damage DNA and increase ageing, effective pH
2.5 to 4.2, dyes, antiseptic.
Sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, calcined soda, carbonic
acid disodium salt, soda ash, (Na2CO3.10H2O
sodium carbonate decahydrate),
sodium carbonate crystals, [formerly "nitre", (US niter)], soda crystals,
sal soda, crystal carbonate, black ash, trona, E500 white,
colourless or white crystals, odourless powder, hygroscopic, readily
soluble in water to form strong alkaline solution
Sodium carbonate is NOT decomposed by heat, (also anhydrous sodium carbonate,
soda ash anhydrous, Na2CO3.) r.d. 2.53,
m.p. 851oC, used in glass production, softens "hard" water,
used to removes grease, constituent of washing powders and bath salts,
over half the weight of the crystals is water because of the water of
Soda ash is commercial sodium carbonate.
If sodium carbonate solution is left on the skin it may produce blisters.
Sodium carbonate as washing soda allows sodium ions to displace calcium
ions in clay particles so that clay particles in mud can be
dispersed and held in suspension in the washing water.
Common name: Washing soda, dissolves grease, disinfectant, softens water,
cleans stains, absorbs odours, used to prepare dish
Sodium chlorate, NaClO3, white solid, crystalline, bleach,
weed killer, Oxidizing, (OXD 1495).
Sodium chlorate forms violently explosive mixtures with combustibles,
organic compounds, ammonium compounds, sulfur, sulfides and
finely divided metals, that may detonate from friction, contact with
strong acids by ignition.
Sodium chlorate with concentrated sulfuric acid forms chlorine dioxide
Wood soaked in sodium chlorate becomes explosive.
Sodium chloride, NaCl, white, cubic crystals, (colourless if large),
or granules, r.d. 2.17, m.p. 804oC, common salt, table salt,
chloride technical grade, rock salt, halite mineral, sea salt, brine,
salt, white cubic crystals.
Sodium chloride is NOT hygroscopic if pure, for chemistry experiments
use "uniodized" table salt, dissolves readily in water to form a
neutral solution often called brine.
Used for cooking and flavouring and food preservative, making butter,
curing fish, manufacturing chemicals, e.g. chlorinating swimming
pools, animal licks, wine spills, carpet cleaning.
Sodium chloride is essential in the diet and a supplement is needed after
excessive dehydration and sweating, but high intake cause of
high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease.
Sodium chloride known as "Canning salt" or "Pickling salt" has no iodine
added, unlike table salt.
Sodium citrate dihydrate, Na3C6H5O7.2H2O,
acid trisodium salt dihydrate, sodium
citrate tribasic dihydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, crystalline
trisodium citrate, trisodium-2-hydroxypropane-1, 2, 3-tricarboxy,
(food buffer), E331.
Sodium phosphate monobasic, powder, NaH2PO4, monosodium
dihydrogen orthophosphate, monosodium phosphate, sodium
dihydrogen phosphate, sodium dihydrogen orthophosphate, monosodium orthophosphate,
sodium phosphate monobasic dihydrate,
sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate, NaH2PO4.2H2O,
white, odourless, rhombic crystals, insoluble in alcohol, slightly deliquescent,
anhydrous at 100oC, in baking powder, food additive, buffers,
Sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate is NaH2PO4.H2O.
Sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3, sodium hydrogen carbonate, baking
soda, bicarbonate of soda, bicarb, bi-carb soda, carb soda,
soda lye, (saleratus, "aerated salt", "Dwight's saleratus"), crystalline,
white, odourless monoclinic crystals or granules, alkaline salt,
r.d. 2.16 - 2.22.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate occurs naturally in soda lakes, soda beds.
It decomposes to lose CO2, forms sodium carbonate above 50oC.
It may be marketed "aluminium free".
About, 2 g of baking soda is neutralized by 24 mL, (1 cup), of milk.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate is in antacids, baking powders, cream of tartar
mixes, sourdough, bath salts, burn treatment, cow and
cattle feed, degreasers, denture cleaning, deodorizers, effervescing
health salts, e.g. Alka-Seltzer, fire extinguishers, general cleaners,
general neutralizers, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, paint stripping,
self-raising flour, soils contaminated with PCBs, toothpaste.
Sodium bicarbonate is a soft white powder that dissolves to a small extent
in cold water.
It is decomposed by hot water to form a very weak alkali.
It turns red litmus blue, but is too weak an alkali to affect phenolphthalein.
It is used in cooking as a leavening agent to form bubbles of carbon
dioxide to expand bread dough, cake mix and pastry dough, to
make them light and pleasant to eat.
Sodium bicarbonate is used to clean barbecues, children's plastic toys,
microwave ovens, and vacuum flasks, to deodorize carpets,
refrigerators and shoes, to freshen dishcloths and laundry towels, to
remove fruit juice stains and perspiration from clothing, and to
dissolve grease, to soften woollen socks, to add to bath water for relaxing
feet soak, to precipitate toxic heavy metal ions and neutralize
acid wastes before disposal, neutralize acid spills and to extinguish
Sodium hydrogen sulfate, NaHSO4, sodium bisulfate, sodium
bisulfate monohydrate, NaHSO4.H2O, sodium hydrogen
monohydrate, deliquescent, anhydrous, nitre cake, sodium bisulfate, swimming
pool acid, (COR 1821), white crystals, very soluble in
water to form acid solution, deliquescent crystals when exposed to air
to eventually form a solution, so keep crystals in stoppered
container, can be a substitute for dilute sulfuric acid in some experiments,
preparation requires use of concentrated sulfuric acid so use
crushed solid sodium hydrogen sulfate, the solid and the solution are
corrosive so handle with care and avoid spills.
If a sodium hydrogen sulfate spill occurs, wipe up spilled material immediately
with a wet cloth and neutralize any remaining acid with
dilute ammonia or baking soda until no longer an acid reaction with blue
Sodium hydrogen sulfate, fused, is Na2S2O7.NaHSO4.
Sodium hydrogen sulfite
Sodium bisulfite, NaHSO3, sodium hydrogen sulfite, deliquescent,
white solid, but dissolves in water to form yellow solution, with heat
decomposed to form sodium sulfate, sulfur dioxide and sulfur, so is used
to sterilize wine casks and other containers in brewing industry.
If KI solutions become yellow from iodine formation, add sodium hydrogen
sulfite solution to make solution colourless again.
Sodium bisulfite ACS reagent may be a mixture of NaHSO3 and
Sodium hydroxide, NaOH, ACS reagent, pellets, solid, white rods, pearl,
flakes, lumps, granules, very hygroscopic and absorbs
CO2 from air, r.d. 2.13, m.p. about 318oC, caustic
soda, soda, soda lye, white caustic, caustic drain cleaner 5%, in "Drano",
(emulsifier), 1.22 gm cm-3, cakes if stored for long period,
a caustic alkali, pH solution >10, soap making, rayon and paper industry,
(used in experiments for reaction of oxides of Period 3
elements and an analytical reagent, preparing soap and making paper, cleaning
cookers and removing old paint, dissolves grease in drains), very dangerous
to eyes, release heat when dissolved in water, must be pure
white colour to be pure sodium hydroxide, store in a bottle with a tightly
fitting cork or rubber stopper, NOT glass stoppers or metal
screw caps that tend to become cemented to the glass, solid or solution
must NOT be handled because it destroys skin and causes
painful blisters, also corrodes clothing.
Treat accidental splashes of sodium hydroxide with plenty of water, then
neutralize with vinegar, citric acid or tartaric acid.
Test the part affected with red litmus paper until it fails to turn blue.
Always use sodium hydroxide in dilute solution.
Sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl (aq), sodium chlorate (I), domestic bleach,
bleaching fluid, e.g. "Chlorox" bleach, oxidizing agent, 12.5%
solution, liquid bleach, colourless, strong odour, heat decomposes, (4%
Cl2), solution, (store below 25oC), (household bleach,
domestic bleach, 5% NaOCl, bleaching fluid, disinfecting sinks and drains),
chlorine water, chloride of soda, chlorine bleach, water
treatment of swimming pools.
NaOCl (aq) bleach evolves chlorine gas that is highly irritant to the
If acid is added to bleach, large amounts of chlorine are produced.
The mixture becomes hot and may boil violently.
Do NOT add concentrated ammonia to bleach.
Under some circumstances, nitrogen trichloride, (NCl3), forms.
This is a violently unstable liquid, liable to explode without apparent
NaOCl can bleach materials like flower petals, leaves and human hair.
NaOCl is a good source of chlorine gas for other experiments.
Add dilute hydrochloric acid from a dropping funnel to bleach solution
in a conical flask fitted with a rubber stopper and gas collection
Keep sodium hydroxide solution nearby to stop the reaction.
Sodium hypochlorite does NOT exist in solid form.
A very weak solution may be sold as a gargle, e.g. Milton, but strong
solutions are poisonous.
Sodium hypochlorite with acids forms chlorine gas, toxic.
Do NOT store near acids.
Sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl, solution 5-16% chlorine bleach, 12.5% solution,
Highly toxic by all routes, skin irritant, corrosive.
Sodium hypochlorite decomposes in sunlight, store in dark cupboard, bottles
in light build up pressure and may explode.
Sodium hypochlorite solution, reagent grade, available chlorine 10-15%
Sodium nitrate, NaNO3, sodium nitrate (V), nitrate of soda,
soda nitre, Chile saltpetre, nitratine, saltpetre, E251, (meat preservative,
colour fixative), colourless, odourless, transparent, trigonal crystals
or white granules, r.d. 2.26, m.p. 308oC, deliquescent in moist
Chile saltpetre from caliche deposits, Chile nitre, (agricultural fertilizer),
Sodium nitrite, NaNO2, sodium nitrite (III) white to yellow
rhombic crystals or granules, r.d. 2.17, m.p. 271oC, hygroscopic
(inhibits corrosion), E250.
Sodium nitrite with acids forms nitrogen dioxide gas, toxic.
Sodium nitrite with phenol, ammonium salts, thiosulfates, cyanides forms
explosive explosive mixtures.
Sodium perborate monohydrate, BNaO3.H2O, powder,
20-100 mesh, strong oxidizing agent, for non-chlorine bleach detergents,
Sodium perborate tetrahydrate, crystals, NaBO3.4H2O,
(algaecide in swimming pools).
Sodium silicate solution, Na2O(SiO2)x.xH2O,
sodium trisilicate solution, water glass, soluble glass glassy solid usually
sold in strong
solution as a thick syrupy liquid that dissolves in water to form an alkaline
Water glass solidifies on exposure to the air.
Sodium silicate is used as egg preservative, fireproofing fabrics, fresco
Sodium metasilicate, Na2SiO3, disodium metasilicate,
disodium silicate, sodium silicate, sodium silicon oxide.
Sodium sulfate, anhydrous, granular, Na2SO4, (sodium
sulfate decahydrate, crystalline, Na2SO4.10H2O)
mirabilite mineral (rhombic
crystals), hydrated, white efflorescent crystals that dissolve in water
to form a neutral solution, Glauber's salt, sal mirabile, cake, former
laxative, E514, in many mineral waters, (Sodium sulfate anhydrous Na2SO4,
white hygroscopic powder, r.d. 2.67, m.p. 888oC),
(glauberite mineral, Na2Ca(SO4)2, has
a bitter and salty taste), (J. R. Glauber 1604-1668, Netherlands), prepared
by sulphuric acid
with common salt, loses water of crystallization in dry air.
Sodium sulfite, anhydrous, Na2SO3, white hexagonal
crystals or powder, r.d. 2.63, alkaline in water, [hydrated,
sodium sulfate (IV)-7-water, Na2SO3.7H2O,
Sodium thiosulfate, Na2S2O3, sodium
thiosulfate pentahydrate, Na2S2O3.5H2O,
sodium thiosulfate-5-water, ("hypo", sodium
hyposulfite), sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate, sodium thiosulfate hydrated,
harmful if ingested, colourless, odourless, monoclinic
colourless crystals that dissolve in water to form a neutral solution
or white granules, molar mass 158.11 g / mol, density 1.67 g / cc,
m.p. 48.3oC, b.p. 100oC, soluble in water, efflorescent
in dry air, sodium hyposulfite is deliquescent in moist air.
Used in photography for the process of fixing, i.e. dissolving the silver
bromide of the exposed plate or film.
Loses water of crystallization at 490 K.
L-(+)-Tartaric acid, (2R,3R)-(+)-Tartaric acid, L-Threaric acid, C4H6O6,
(CHOH)2(COOH)2, racemic acid, 2, 3-dihydroxybutanedioic
acid, colourless, odourless, transparent, monoclinic crystals, or white
granules, r.d. 1.76, m.p. 168 to 170oC E334, from potassium
hydrogen tartrate, sour taste food flavour, in wine and fruits, e.g. tamarind,
tartrate salts, from potassium tartrate, tartar.
Tartaric acid is a white crystalline substance manufactured from grape
It is very weak acid is commonly used as an ingredient in effervescing
health salts and its salt, potassium hydrogen tartrate, (cream of
tartar), is used in baking powder.
Tartaric acid has similar chemical actions to citric acid in that it liberates
carbon dioxide gas from carbonates and bicarbonates, and it
forms hydrogen when warmed with iron filings or zinc.
It can clean copper coins by dissolving the surface copper (II) oxide.
Tin (II) chloride
Tin (II) chloride, anhydrous, powder, SnCl2, tin (II) chloride
dihydrate, SnCl2.2H2O, stannous chloride dihydrate,
butter of tin, colourless, monoclinic crystals, absorbs O2
from air to form insoluble stannous oxychloride, r.d. 2.71, m.p. 37 to
Titanium (IV) oxide
Titanium (IV) oxide, powder, TiO2, titanium dioxide, colour
white, opacifer, "white out" correction fluid, white pigments for tennis
household white paint, from mineral rutile, ilmenite FeTiO3, food
additive, E171, the three mineral forms are anatase, brookite and rutile.
1,1,1-Trichloroethane, CH3CCl3, ACS reagent, (may
contain 0.05% low alkyl epoxide as stabilizer), "Chlorothene", (E512), methyl
chloroform, grease solvent, safer alternative to tetrachloromethane,
(carbon tetrachloride, CCl4).
Solvent in "white-out" correction fluids banned in many school systems
because of "sniffing".
Ozone-depleting chemical being phased out of use.
Mixed with active metals, e.g. Na, Mg, Al, forms metal chloride and carbon
in highly exothermic reaction.
Substitute non-chlorinating solvents, e.g. acetone or ethanol.
Trichloromethane, CHCl3, chloroform, colourless, mobile, clear,
sweet taste liquid, distinct odour, not inflammable, vapour in flame
may form poisonous gases, b.p. 61oC, store dark, cool place,
former anaesthetic, solvent irritant, possibly carcinogenic.
Do NOT store or use in school science laboratories.
Sodium phosphate, Na3PO4, sodium orthophosphate,
trisodium phosphate, sodium phosphate tribasic dodecahydrate, Na3PO4.12H2O,
TSP, trisodium phosphate dodecahydrate, "sodium phosphate", tribasic,
colourless to white odourless, trigonal crystals, r.d. 1.6,
m.p. about 73oC, acidity regulator, food buffer, thickener
Zinc oxide, ZnO, white to yellow, amorphous powder, r.d. 5.47, m.p. above
1 800oC, white pigment, zincite, white zinc, zinc white,
Chinese white, spartalite, craft, zinc sun cream medicine and other skin
Zinc sulfate monohydrate, ZnSO4.H2O, zinc sulfate
heptahydrate, ZnSO4.7H2O, colourless, odourless,
white rhombic crystals or
powder, r.d. 1.97, m.p. about 50oC, efflorescent in dry air,
anhydrous at 200oC, decomposes above 500oC, white vitriol,
white copperas, gosla rite, in zinc deficiency medicines.