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List Of Contents | Contents of An Introduction to Chemical Science
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HNO3 is likely to loosen it, and pass the other end to the bottom
of a t.t. held deep in a bottle of water (Fig. 26). Apply heat,
and collect 4 or 5 cc.of the liquid. The usual reaction is: KNO3
+ H2SO4 = HKSO4 + HNO3. With greater heat, 2 KNO3 + H2SO4 = K2SO4
+ 2HNO3. Which is most economical of KNO3? Of H2SO4? Instead of a
flask, a t.t. may be used if desired (Fig. 27).

86. Properties and Tests.

Experiment 53.--(1) Note the color of the prepared liquid. (2)
Put a drop on the finger; then wash it off at once. (3) Dip a
quill or piece of white silk into it; then wash off the acid.
What color is imparted to animal substances? (4) Add a little to
a few bits of Cu turnings, or to a Cu coin. Write the equation.
(5) To 2 cc.indigo solution, add 2 cc. HNO3. State the leading
properties of HNO3, from these tests.

87. Chemically Pure HNO3 is a Colorless Liquid.-- The yellow
color of that prepared in Experiment 52 is due to liquid NO2
dissolved in it. It is then called fuming HNO3, and is very
strong. NO2 is formed at a high temperature.

Commercial or ordinary HNO3, is made from NaNO3, this being
cheaper than KNO3; it is about half water.

88. Uses. HNO3 is the basis of many nitrates, as AgNO3, used for
photography, Ba(NO3)2 and Sr(NO3)2 for fire-works, and others for
dyeing and printing calico; it is employed in making aqua regia,
sulphuric acid, nitro-glycerine, gun-cotton, aniline colors,
zylonite, etc.

Enough experiments have been performed to answer the question
whether some acids can be prepared from their salts. H2SO4 is not
so made, because no acid is strong enough to act on its salts. In
making HCl, HNO3, etc., sulphuric acid was used, being the
strongest.

AQUA REGIA.

89. Preparation and Action. Experiment 54.--Into a t.t. put 2 cc.
HNO3, and 14 qcm. of either Au leaf or Pt. Warm in a flame. If
the metal is pure, no action takes place. Into another tube put 6
cc. HCl and add a similar leaf. Heat this also. There should be
no action. Pour the contents of one t.t. into the other. Note the
effect. Which is stronger, one of the acids, or the combination
of the two? Note the odor. It is that of Cl. 3HCl + HNO3 = NOCl +
2H2O + Cl2. This reaction is approximate only. The strength is
owing to nascent chlorine, which unites with Au. Au + 3Cl =
AuCl3. If Pt be used, PtCl4 is produced. No other acid except
nitro-hydrochloric will dissolve Au or Pt; hence the ancients
called it aqua regia, or king of liquids. It must be made as
wanted, since it cannot be kept and retain its strength.

CHAPTER XIX.

SULPHURIC ACID.

90. Preparation.

Experiment 55.--Having fitted a cork with four or five
perforations to a large t.t., pass a d.t. from three of these to
three smaller t.t., leaving the others open to the air, as in
Figure 28. Into one t.t. put 5 cc. H2O, into another 5 g. Cu
turnings and 10 cc. H2SO4, into the third 5 g. Cu turnings and 10
cc. dilute HNO3, half water. Hang on a ring stand, and slowly
heat the tubes containing H2O and H2SO4. Notice the fumes that
pass into the large t.t.

Trace out and apply to Figure 28 these reactions:--

(1) Cu + 2 H2SO4 = CuSO4 + 2 H2O + SO2.

(2) 3 Cu + 8 HNO3 = 3 Cu(NO3)2+ 4 H2O + 2 NO.

(3) NO + O = NO2.

(4) SO2 + H2O + NO2 =H2SO4 + NO.

(4) comes from combining the gaseous products in (1), (2), (3).
In (3), NO takes an atom of O from the air, becoming NO2, and at
once gives it up, to the H2SO3 (H2O + SO2), making H2SO4, and
again goes through the same operation of taking up O and passing
it along. NO is thus called a carrier of O. It is a reducing
agent, while NO2 is an oxidizing agent. This is a continuous
process, and very important, since it changes useless H2SO3 into
valuable H2SO4. If exposed to the air, H2SO3 would very slowly
take up O and become H2SO4.

Instead of the last experiment, this may be employed if
preferred: Burn a little S in a receiver. Put into an
evaporating-dish, 5 cc. HNO3, and dip a paper or piece of cloth
into it. Hang the paper in the receiver of SO2, letting no HNO3
drop from it. Continue this operation till a small quantity of
liquid is found in the bottle. The fumes show that HNO3 has lost
O. 2 HNO3 + SO2 = H2SO4 + 2 NO2.

91. Tests for H2SO4.

Experiment 56.--(1) Test the liquid with litmus. (2) Transfer it
to a t.t., and add an equal volume of BaCl2 solution. H2SO4 +
BaCl2 = ? Is BaSO4 soluble? (3) Put one drop H2SO4 from the
reagent bottle in 10 cc. H2O in a clean t.t., and add 1 cc. BaCl2
solution. Look for any cloudiness. This is the characteristic
test for H2SO4 and soluble sulphates, and so delicate that one
drop in a liter of H2O can be detected. (4) Instead of H2SO4, try
a little Na2SO4 solution. (5) Put two or three drops of strong
H2SO4 on writing-paper, and evaporate, high over a flame, so as
not to burn the paper. Examine it when dry. (6) Put a stick into
a t.t. containing 2 cc. H2SO4, and note the effect. (7) Review
Experiment 5. (8) Into an e.d. pour 5 cc. H2O, and then 15 cc.
H2SO4. Stir it meantime with a small t.t. containing 2 or 3 cc.
NH4OH, and notice what takes place in the latter; also note the
heat of the e.d.

The effects of (5), (6), (7), and (8) are due to the intense
affinity which H2SO4 has for H2O. So thirsty is it that it even
abstracts H and O from oxalic acid in the right proportion to
form H2O, combines them, and then absorbs the water.

92. Affinity for Water.--This acid is a desiccator or dryer, and
is used to take moisture from the air and prevent metallic
substances from rusting. In this way it dilutes itself, and may
increase its weight threefold. In diluting, the acid must always
be poured into the water slowly and with stirring, not water into
the acid, since, as H2O is lighter than H2SO4, heat enough may be
set free at the surface of contact to cause an explosion.
Contraction also takes place, as may be shown by accurately
measuring each liquid in a graduate, before mixing, and again
when cold. The mixture occupies less volume than the sum of the
two volumes. For the best results the volume of the acid should
be about three times that of the water.

93. Sulphuric Acid made on a Large Scale involves the same
principles as shown in Experiment 55, excepting that S02 is
obtained by burning S or roasting FeS2 (pyrite),

[Fig. 29.]

and HNO3 is made on the spot from NaNO3 and H2SO4. SO2 enters a
large leaden chamber, often 100 to 300 feet long, and jets of
steam and small portions of HNO3 are also forced in. The "chamber
acid" thus formed is very dilute, and must be evaporated first in
leaden pans, and finally in glass or platinum retorts, since
strong H2SO4, especially if hot, dissolves lead. See Experiment
124. Study Figure 29, and write the reactions. 2 HNO3 breaks up
into 2 NO2, H2O, and O. 94. Importance.--Sulphuric acid has been
called, next to human food, the most indispensable article known.
There is hardly a product of modern civilization in the
manufacture of which it is not directly or indirectly used.
Nearly a million tons are made yearly in Great Britain alone. It
is the basis of all acids, as Na2CO3 is of alkalies. It is the
life of chemical industry, and the quantity of it consumed is an
index of a people's civilization. Only a few of its uses can be
stated here. The two leading ones are the reduction of Ca3(PO4)2
for artificial manures and the sodium carbonate manufacture.
Foods depend on the productiveness of soils and on fertilizers,
and thus indirectly our daily bread is supplied by means of this
acid; and from sodium carbonate glass, soap, saleratus, baking-
powders, and most alkalies are made directly or indirectly. H2SO4
is employed in bleaching, dyeing, printing, telegraphy,
electroplating, galvanizing iron and wire, cleaning metals,
refining Au and Ag, making alum, blacking, vitriols, glucose,
mineral waters, ether, indigo, madder, nitroglycerine, gun-
cotton, parchment, celluloid, etc., etc.

FUMING SULPHURIC ACID.

95. Nordhausen or Fuming Sulphuric Acid, H2S207 used in
dissolving indigo and preparing coal-tar pigments, is made by
distilling FeSO4. 4FeSO4 + H2O = H2S207 + 2Fe203 + 2S02. This was
the original sulphuric acid. It is also formed when S03 is
dissolved in H2SO4. When exposed to the air, S03 escapes with
fuming.

CHAPTER XX.

AMMONIUM HYDRATE.

96. Preparation of Bases.--We have seen that many acids are made
by acting on a salt of the acid required, with a stronger acid.
This is the direct way. The following experiments will show that
bases may be prepared in a similar way by acting on salts of the
base required with other bases, which we may regard as stronger
than the ones to be obtained.

97. Preparation of NH4OH and NH3.

Experiment 57.--Powder 10 g. ammonium chloride, NH4Cl, in a mortar
and mix with 10 g. calcium hydrate, Ca(OH)2; recently slaked lime
is the best. Cover with water in a flask, and connect with Woulff
bottles, as for making HCl (Fig. 22); heat the flask for fifteen
minutes or more. The experiment may be tried on a smaller scale
with a t.t. if desired.

The reaction is: 2NH4Cl + Ca(OH)2 = CaCl2 + 2NH4OH. NH4OH is
broken up into NH3, ammonia gas, and water. NH4OH = NH3 + H2O.
These pass over into the first bottle, where the water takes up
the NH3, for which it has great affinity. One volume of water at
0 will absorb more than 1000 volumes of NH3. Thus NH4OH may be
called a solution of NH3, in H2O. Write the reaction.

Experiment 58.--Powder and mix 2 or 3 g. each of ammonium
nitrate, NH4NO3, and Ca(OH)2; put them into a t.t., and heat
slowly. Note the odor. 2NH4NO3 + Ca(OH)2 = ?

98. Tests.

Experiment 59.--(1) Generate a little of the gas in a t.t., and
note the odor. (2) Test the gas with wet red litmus paper. (3)
Put a little HCl into an e.d., and pass over it the fumes of NH3
from a d.t. Note the result, and write the equation. (4) Fill a
small t.t. with the gas by upward displacement; then, while still
inverted, put the mouth of the t.t. into water. Explain the rise
of the water. (5) How might NH4Cl be obtained from the NH4OH in
the Woulff bottles? (6) Test the liquid in each bottle with red

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