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AbstractTwo samples from a crime scene in Santa Monica the first containing two unknown salts and the second containing the same two salts plus a third unknown salt were separated and analyzed using physical and chemical properties The unknowns were found to be calcium carbonate sodium iodide and aluminum oxide all harmless household chemicalsIntroductionTwo samples of unknown salts were provided for analysis The first labeled 42A contained two salts and the second labeled 42B contained the first two salts plus a third salt These samples were discovered in a dumpster in Santa Monica The goal of this project was to identify the salts in each of the samples and provide information about them to the community A list of possible salts was provided1 This list has been organized in Table 1 according to the cations and anions present in each saltTable 1 Possible Unknown Salts Listed by Cation and AnionAnionsCationsCl-I-CO32-SO42-O2-NaNaClNaINa2CO3Na2SO4KKClKIK2CO3K2SO4Ca2CaCl2CaCO3CaSO4Mg2MgCl2MgCO3MgSO4Al3Al2SO43Al2O3Using the solubility of these species these salts can further be separated into the following categories listed in Table 2 belowTable 2 Solibility in water acidic and basic solutions2Insoluble in waterCaCO3 MgCO3 Al2O3 CaSO4Soluble in acidCaCO3 MgCO3 Al2O3Soluble in baseAl2O3slightly solubleTables 1 and 2 show that we can use solubility and various qualitative tests for cations and anions such as reactivity flame tests and so forth to help distinguish the species present in our unknowns This is how the unknown salts in this experiment were identifiedExperimental Data and ResultsIn order to determine the identity of our unknowns the salts present had to first be separated and then the identity of the pure salts established The following outlines the procedures that were followed It should be noted that some serendipity was involved in that we tried a number of tests in our investigation Only those that resulted in an advancement of our results and not the dead ends are presented here In retrospect many of these procedures could be systematized into a general scheme for determining the
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