[Note 2: The platinum wire is wrapped around the top of the filter during its incineration to avoid contact with any reduced silver from the reduction of the precipitate. If the wire were placed nearer the apex, such contact could hardly be avoided.]
[Note 3: Silver chloride should not be heated to complete fusion, since a slight loss by volatilization is possible at high temperatures. The temperature of fusion is not always sufficient to destroy filter shreds; hence these should not be allowed to contaminate the precipitate.]
Procedure.—Weigh out into beakers (200-250 cc.) two portions of the sample (Note 1) of about 1 gram each and dissolve these in 50 cc. of water, to which 1 cc. of dilute hydrochloric acid (sp. gr. 1.12) has been added (Note 2). Heat the solution to boiling, and while at the boiling point add concentrated nitric acid (sp. gr. 1.42), !drop by drop! (noting the volume used), until the brown coloration, which appears after the addition of a part of the nitric acid, gives place to a yellow or red (Note 3). Avoid a large excess of nitric acid, but be sure that the action is complete. Pour this solution cautiously into about 200 cc. of water, containing a slight excess of ammonia. Calculate for this purpose the amount of aqueous ammonia required to neutralize the hydrochloric and nitric acids added (see Appendix for data), and also to precipitate the iron as ferric hydroxide from the weight of the ferrous ammonium sulphate taken for analysis, assuming it to be pure (Note 4). The volume thus calculated will be in excess of that actually required for precipitation, since the acids are in part consumed in the oxidation process, or are volatilized. Heat the solution to boiling, and allow the precipitated ferric hydroxide to settle. Decant the clear liquid through a washed filter (9 cm.), keeping as much of the precipitate in the beaker as possible. Wash twice by decantation with 100 cc. of hot water. Reserve the filtrate. Dissolve the iron from the filter with hot, dilute hydrochloric acid (sp. gr. 1.12), adding it in small portions, using as little as possible and noting the volume used. Collect the solution in the beaker in which precipitation took place. Add 1 cc. of nitric acid (sp. gr. 1.42), boil for a few moments, and again pour into a calculated excess of ammonia.
Wash the precipitate twice by decantation, and finally transfer it to the original filter. Wash continuously with hot water until finally 3 cc. of the washings, acidified with nitric acid (Note 5), show no evidences of the presence of chlorides when tested with silver nitrate. The filtrate and washings are combined with those from the first precipitation and treated for the determination of sulphur, as prescribed on page 112.