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Chemistry Qualitative Salt Analysis Cheatsheet

Download the Chemistry Qualitative Salt Analysis Cheatsheet

The Short Story:
Here’s a cheatsheet for qualitative salt analysis with all the common ions and tests included. I left out the ones which are generally not done at school, but in case you feel that I should include something, change any content, etc your suggestions are welcome.

The Long Story:
It’s a known fact that I don’t attend far too many classes at school; and I’m constantly in need of notes and such stuff from others. Having done this for quite a few years, I’ve got into a habit of creating ‘cheatsheets’ for referring to before exams, because I hardly remember anything any day. Take for example the chemistry practicals, almost all of which I didn’t attend last year (and only one of organic this year).

Thus, for today’s chemistry practical (which went sorta fine except I’m not sure of my cation), I made a reference sheet for qualitative salt analysis. I wouldn’t have done it, but the Web doesn’t seem to have any good stuff on this. The upshot was that I was working till 1.42 am typing out stuff that I dozed off at the computer table itself. I’d though it was a nice idea to do it, it’d help me remember the things too, but argh, those bloody subscript and superscript almost killed me.

This stuff is really useful for CBSE class 11 and 12 students, for the qualitative salt analysis practicals; and I guess for other folks interested in chemistry too. Feedback and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Update 1: I made a cellphone version of the salt analysis cheatsheet too.
Update 2: The cheatsheet has been updated. It’s now been condensed to a four-page affair, and some useless footnotes have been removed. A few tips have been added towards the end. In case you’re (still) interested in the old one, download version 1 of salt analysis cheatsheet.

Update 3: Kartik Mankad has informed me of some possible discrepancies in the cheatsheet. I’ll repeat them from everyone’s benefit here – but I haven’t checked this out in a lab. There might be a few things I skipped because our teachers told us not to bother with them. Kartik’s given some nice tips though. Thanks!

  1. Sulphite, nitrite, and sulphide are not in CBSE course.
  2. As mentioned right under the heading of ‘cations’ it says, “When phosphate is detected cations of group 3 and later are absent”. This rule is violated for many salts, for example nickel phosphate.
  3. The procedure for ring test is mentioned wrong. Our teacher specifically said NOT to add HNO3 and use only H2So4.
  4. Under flame test you may also add Pb salts, which give a bluish white flame.
  5. Deliquescence (the ability to absorb moisture) is a great tool in determining the salt/group. Example, Mg salts are HIGHLY deliquescent. MgCl2 makes the filter paper (on which it is kept) wet in minutes.

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