General Geology

1988 Edition

Blowpipe analysis

  • Irving Fisher
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-30844-X_11
Blowpipe analysis refers to the series of physical and chemical tests made using the flame of a blowpipe. The blowpipe is a metal tube about 25 cm long, tapering from a diameter of about 8 mm to an orifice of about 0.3 mm at the tip. It is usually made of brass and bent at the right angle near the tip so the operator can observe the flame ( Berzelius, 1845; Fletcher, 1894). The operator places the tip of the blowpipe in the luminous flame of a Bunsen burner, alcohol lamp, or broad wick candle and blows a jet of air into the flame. This produces an elongated flame ( Fig. 1) composed of a low–temperature inner blue cone of unburned gases, a visible flame in which gases are rapidly oxidized (the reducing flame), and an invisible outer zone of high temperature in which no gas combustion takes place (the oxidizing flame) ( Butler, 1910).
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References

  1. Berzelius, J. J., 1845, The Use of the Blowpipe in Chemistry and Mineralogy, J. D. Whitney, trans. Boston: W. Ticknor and Co., 237p.Google Scholar
  2. Butler, G. M., 1910, Pocket Handbook of Blowpipe Analysis. New York: Wiley, 80p.Google Scholar
  3. Clarke, E., Prider, R. T. and Teicher, C. 1946. Elementary Practical Geology. Nedlands: University of Western Australia, 170p.Google Scholar
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  5. Elderhorst, W., 1874, in Nason, H. B. and Chandler, C. F. eds., Manual of Qualitative Blow-Pipe Analysis and Determinative Mineralogy, 6th ed. New York: Zell, 312p.Google Scholar
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  7. Galbraith, F. W., 1963, Chemical tests for the elements, Geotimes 7(8), 35–36; 8(1), 35–36 (AGI Data Sheets 42a and 42b).Google Scholar
  8. Smith, O. C., 1946, Identification and Qualitative Chemical Analysis of Minerals. New York: Van Nostrand, 385p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Fisher

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