General Geology

1988 Edition

Blowpipe analysis

  • Irving Fisher
Reference work entry
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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Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Fisher

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