Identification test for Rochelle Salt?

In summary, the person is looking for a conclusive chemical test to verify that a high school student successfully synthesized a large quantity of Rochelle salt. They mention the test for piezoelectricity using an oscilloscope, but are hoping for another conclusive test. The conversation also suggests that other tests such as melting point, density, and solubility can also be used to differentiate between Rochelle salt and other substances.
  • #1
mishima
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Hi, I have a high school student who supposedly synthesized a large quantity of Rochelle salt. I was looking for a conclusive chemical test to verify that it was indeed produced. This isn't because I actually suspect anything weird in the student project, its only for educational purposes.

There is of course the test for piezoelectricity using an oscilloscope (which they are intending on including) but I was hoping there might be something else conclusive out there. Thanks.
 
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  • #3
@Tom.G 's answer is a good one. I'll just add that it's all going to depend on what tests/equipment you and the student have available and how accurate you want to get. If you're trying to tell the difference between Rochelle's salt (sodium potassium tartrate) and e.g., sodium tartrate without potassium, that's going to be more difficult than if you're trying to tell the difference between Rochelle's salt and e.g., sodium chloride.

Some other easy tests (though not necessarily definitive by themselves) include things like melting point, density, solubility, etc.
 

1. What is Rochelle Salt and why is it important to identify it?

Rochelle Salt, also known as potassium sodium tartrate, is a compound commonly used in the production of piezoelectric crystals and as a laxative. It is important to identify it in order to ensure the purity and quality of the compound for its intended use.

2. What are the main methods used for identifying Rochelle Salt?

The main methods used for identifying Rochelle Salt include chemical tests such as the Fehling's test, as well as instrumental techniques such as X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy.

3. How does the Fehling's test work for identifying Rochelle Salt?

The Fehling's test is based on the reaction of Rochelle Salt with copper(II) ions, resulting in the formation of a red precipitate of copper(I) oxide. This reaction is specific to Rochelle Salt and can be used to distinguish it from other compounds.

4. Can Rochelle Salt be identified using only one method?

No, it is recommended to use a combination of methods for identifying Rochelle Salt in order to obtain more accurate and reliable results. Each method has its own advantages and limitations, and using multiple methods can help to confirm the identity of the compound.

5. Are there any safety precautions to consider when performing identification tests for Rochelle Salt?

Yes, it is important to follow proper safety precautions when handling Rochelle Salt and performing identification tests. This includes wearing appropriate protective gear, working in a well-ventilated area, and following proper disposal procedures for any chemicals used in the tests.

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