Beilstein test
The Beilstein test is a simple chemical test
Chemical test
In chemistry, a chemical test is a qualitative or quantitative procedure designed to prove the existence of, or to quantify, a chemical compound or chemical group with the aid of a specific reagent...

 used in chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 as a qualitative test for halides. It was developed by Friedrich Konrad Beilstein
Friedrich Konrad Beilstein
Friedrich Konrad Beilstein , Russian name "Бейльштейн, Фёдор Фёдорович", was a chemist and founder of the famous Handbuch der organischen Chemie . The first edition of this work, published in 1881, covered 1,500 compounds in 2,200 pages...


A copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 wire is cleaned and heated in a Bunsen burner
Bunsen burner
A Bunsen burner, named after Robert Bunsen, is a common piece of laboratory equipment that produces a single open gas flame, which is used for heating, sterilization, and combustion.- Operation:...

 flame to form a coating of copper(II) oxide
Copper(II) oxide
Copper oxide or cupric oxide is the higher oxide of copper. As a mineral, it is known as tenorite.-Chemistry:It is a black solid with an ionic structure which melts above 1200 °C with some loss of oxygen...

. It is then dipped in the sample to be tested and once again heated in a flame. A positive test is indicated by a green flame caused by the formation of a copper halide. The test does not detect fluorine/fluorides.

This test is no longer frequently used. One reason why it is not widely used is that it is possible to generate the highly toxic chloro-dioxins if the test material is a polychloroarene.

An alternative wet test for halide is the sodium fusion test
Sodium fusion test
The sodium fusion test is used in elemental analysis for the qualitative determination of elemental halogens, nitrogen and sulfur in a sample. It was developed by J. L. Lassaigne....

 — this test converts organic material to inorganic salts include the sodium halide. Addition of silver nitrate
Silver nitrate
Silver nitrate is an inorganic compound with chemical formula . This compound is a versatile precursor to many other silver compounds, such as those used in photography. It is far less sensitive to light than the halides...

solution causes any halides to precipitate as the respective silver halide.
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