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Qualitative Analysis of Organic Compounds

Last updated date: 26th Feb 2024
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What is Qualitative Analysis?

Some of the most commonly occurring elements in organic compounds are carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen and halogen elements. Detection of these elements can be done through qualitative analysis, as there is no direct method for the detection of oxygen.


What is Qualitative Analysis?

Qualitative analysis is an analysis method used to measure changes in melting point, color, odor, radioactivity, reactivity, bubble production, boiling point and precipitation. On the other hand, quantitative analysis is a method of analysis to determine the number of elements or molecules produced during a chemical reaction. We can therefore highlight that qualitative analysis is a method to analyze the species present in a compound and is more focused on finding the elements and ions present in the given compound whereas quantitative analysis is based on finding the quantity (how much) of elements present in the compound.


Importance of Qualitative Analysis of Organic Compounds

The identification and analysis of unknown organic compounds make a very important aspect of experimental organic chemistry. A systematic approach based on the scheme helps in fetching good results as there is no definite set of procedures which can be applied for all.


General Qualitative Analysis Scheme

  1. Preliminary Tests: In these tests, one can note all the physical characteristics of the compound that includes solid, liquid, color or odor. Also, performing an ignition test by heating a small amount of metal spatula helps in determining whether the compound is aromatic or aliphatic as aliphatic compounds produce luminous flame and aromatic compounds produce a sooty flame.

  2. Physical Properties Detection: It can be made by determining the boiling point or melting point. In the case of liquids, it’s better to go for distillation that serves the dual purpose for knowing the boiling point and also the purification of liquid that helps in performing subsequent tests.

  3. Analysis of Elements: Analysis of Elements present in the compound can be performed with the help of various methods.

  4. Solubility Tests: The test is performed using various reagents such as dil. HCl, dil. NaOH, sodium bicarbonate and hot or cold water. Useful information can be obtained by observing the compound’s solubility.

  5. Group Classification Tests: Various tests can help in deducing the functional groups in the unknown compound.


Different Tests for Detection of Elements

1. Detection of Carbon and Hydrogen

Carbon and Hydrogen can be detected by heating the compound with copper oxide in a dry test tube. These are then oxidized to carbon dioxide and water respectively where the former turns lime water milky and water turns anhydrous copper sulfate blue in color. Thus, it confirms the presence of carbon and hydrogen. 

2. Detection of Phosphorus

For determining the phosphorus, the organic compound is heated with an oxidizing agent that helps in oxidizing the phosphorus present in it to phosphate. Thereafter, the solution is boiled with concentrated HNO3 and is then treated with ammonium molybdate. Presence of phosphorus is then confirmed with a yellow precipitate.

The reactions involved in the process of estimation of phosphorus methods are as follows:

Na3PO4 + 3HNO3 → H3PO4 + 3NaNO3

H3PO4 + 12(NH4)2MoO4 + 21HNO3 → (NH4)3PO4.12MoO3 + 21NH4NO3 + 12H2O

3. Estimation of Nitrogen

  • Dumas Method

The estimation of Nitrogen is done with the help of the Dumas method where a known mass or weight of the compound is heated with copper oxide (CuO) in the carbon dioxide atmosphere. This yields free Nitrogen along with carbon dioxide and water.

The reaction is as follows:

CxHyNz + (2x+ 0.5y) CuO → xCO2 + 0.5y H2O + 0.5z (N2) + (2x+ 0.5y)Cu

When the gasses are passed over a hot copper gauge, it converts trace amounts of nitrogen oxides to dinitrogen. The gaseous mixture is collected over KOH solution which absorbs carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is then collected in the upper part of the graduated tube.

  • Kjeldahl Method

In this method, a known mass of an organic compound, for example, 0.5 g is mixed with 10 g of potassium sulfate and 1 g of copper sulfate with 25 ml of sulphuric acid and is heated in a Kjeldah’s flask. Here, copper sulfate acts as a catalyst and potassium sulfate raises the boiling point of concentrated sulphuric acid. Further, Nitrogen in the compound quantitatively converts to Ammonium sulfate. The resultant mixture reacts with an excess of sodium hydroxide and Ammonia evolves. It is then passed through an excess volume of standard acid.

The acid which doesn’t react is left out which is estimated by titration with some standard alkali. This way, the percentage of Nitrogen can be calculated. 

Various reactions involved in the estimation of Nitrogen by Kjeldahl method are as follows:

C + H + S → CO2 + H2O + SO2

N → (NH4)2SO4

(NH4)2SO4 + 2NaOH → Na2SO4 + 2NH3 + 2H2O

2NH3 + H2SO4 → (NH4)2SO4

Qualitative Analysis of Organic Compounds for IIT JEE.

The Complete Explanation of the Organic Compounds for IIT JEE is Available at Vedantu.

It is important for the students who are preparing for the IIT JEE to learn the methods which are used to separate, identify, and quantify matter, which is generally regarded as Analytical Chemistry. There are various types of analysis, and one of them is “Qualitative Analysis”. Hence, it is important for the aspirants to learn the principles of qualitative analysis.

As you already know, the syllabus for the IIT JEE includes the chapters covered in your 11th and 12th class, and also the topics covered thereof, and hence you may already have studied the topic of Qualitative analysis, such as extraction of metals and in the biological system etc. But it is really important to revise your understanding with a simple explanation of the topic. Hence, Vedantu provides the complete explanation for the topic of Qualitative Analysis of organic compounds to the students.

A Bird’s Eye View of the Qualitative Analysis of Organic Compounds

Before diving into the Qualitative analysis of organic compounds, let us first have a quick look at Analytical Chemistry in general.

Analytical chemistry is required to identify, quantify, and separate the matter. The three-thing mentioned, which are, identifying, quantifying, and separating the matter, can either be an entire analysis, in practice or combined with another method. The science of obtaining information about the composition and structure of matter, the processing of the same, and communication of this information, is regarded as Analytical chemistry. In even simpler language, we can say that Analytical Chemistry is the way of determining matter, that is to say, what matter is, and how much matter exists.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the analytical analysis, it automatically becomes rather easy for you to understand the meaning of Qualitative analysis of the organic compounds. Because it is one of the important methods of analytical chemistry. Qualitative analysis of the organic compound helps in determining the presence or absence of a particular compound. But it does not help in determining the presence of mass or concentration of the compound. Therefore, qualitative analysis of the chemical compound does not help in measuring the quantity, which helps in determining the number of elements that are produced during the chemical reaction.

FAQs on Qualitative Analysis of Organic Compounds

1. What is Qualitative Analysis in Chemistry?

Qualitative analysis of organic compounds is done to detect the presence of various elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and halogen elements. Carbon and hydrogen are generally detected by heating the given compound with cupric oxide. During this process, carbon gets oxidized to carbon dioxide and hydrogen gets converted to water. Carbon dioxide can further be tested by lime water test and water through anhydrous copper sulfate test.

2. How is the Test of Halogens Done for its Detection in an Organic Compound?

Just like the test of phosphorus and other elements present in organic compounds, a test for halogens can be done. It is performed by acidifying a portion of the fusion solution with dilute nitric acid. Further, excess silver nitrate solution is added where a precipitate formed indicates the halogen presence. This is the test of halogen applicable if nitrogen and sulfur are not present in the compound. There is a different test applicable to the test of halogens when nitrogen or/and sulfur are present. During this, cyanide and sulfide ions both interfere with this kind of reaction by the formation of silver cyanide and silver sulfide precipitates. For the removal of cyanide and sulfide ions, we need to acidify the fusion solution with dilute nitric acid.

3. Is it important for me to learn the topic of Qualitative Analysis of organic compounds?

Yes, it is absolutely important for you to learn the topic of Qualitative Analysis of organic compounds. Actually, as discussed earlier, qualitative analysis is one of the important methods of analytical chemistry, which helps in identifying or grouping the elements that are present in the sample. Thus, it is important for the students to learn this important method. Also, since the qualitative analysis of organic compounds is included in the syllabus, it in itself means that it is an important topic for the students to learn. Also, in advanced learning of chemistry, Qualitative analysis of the organic compounds plays a vital role.

4. Where can I find a good explanation of the topic of Qualitative analysis of Organic Compounds?

If you are looking for a good explanation of the topic of qualitative analysis of organic compounds, then the time for ending your search has arrived. Vedantu provides the complete explanation of the Qualitative analysis to all the aspirants of the IIT JEE. This said explanation is prepared by the top educators of the subject and all the important information regarding the same, such as importance of qualitative analysis, scheme of general qualitative analysis which includes the Preliminary test, physical properties detection etc. The given explanation also includes the different tests for detection of elements, such as detection of Carbon and hydrogen, Detection of Phosphorus, and estimation of Nitrogen.

5. Why should I refer to Vedantu for the explanation of the Qualitative Analysis of Organic compounds?

There are quite many reasons for choosing the explanation of qualitative analysis of organic compound, that Vedantu provides, a few of which are listed below:

  • The explanation that Vedantu provides makes the topic of Qualitative Analysis of Organic compounds easy to understand. Because it uses language which is easy to understand for the students, and also it simplifies the said topic of chemistry.

  • The explanation that Vedantu provides for the topic of Qualitative Analysis of Organic compounds is prepared by the master educators, who have years of experience in teaching the IIT JEE aspirants, and who knows how to communicate the topic to the students in an effective and efficient manner. And therefore, in the explanation that Vedantu provides there is always a guarantee of the best educational material.

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