Schweitzer's reagent

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A reagent test solution used to identify Wool. Schweitzer's solution contains Copper hydroxide dissolved in ammonia. The liquid dissolves Cotton, Silk, and Linen but not wool. Many synthetic fibers do not dissolve in the solution. The solution is also used in the papermaking industry to dissolve cellulose in order to measure its average molecular weight.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Schweitzers reagent; Schweitzer's solution; cuprammonium hydroxide; ammoniacal cupric oxide; cuam; cupram

Physical and Chemical Properties

Solution: dissolve 5 g cupric sulfate in 100 ml boiling water and add sodium hydroxide until precipitation is complete. Wash precipitate well then dissolve in minimum amount of ammonium hydroxide.

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • E.J.LaBarre, Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-making, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1969
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980

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