Marsh's test

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A chemical test for arsenic in which hydrochloric acid and zinc are added to the sample, arsine being produced by the nascent hydrogen generated. Gas from the sample is led through a heated glass tube and, if arsine is present, it decomposes to give a brown deposit of arsenic metal. The arsenic is distinguished from antimony (which gives a similar result) by the fact that antimony does not dissolve in sodium chlorate(I) (hypochlorite). The test was devised in 1836 by the British chemist James Marsh (1789–1846).

Subjects: Chemistry.

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