What is wet chemistry ?

Wet chemistry is a type of analytical chemistry that applies classical methods such as observation to analyze materials. It is called wet chemistry because most of analyzing is performed in the liquid phase. Wet chemistry may be called as bench chemistry because many tests are performed at lab benches.

History of wet chemistry:

Ahead the era of theoretical and computational chemistry, wet chemistry was the predominant type of scientific findings in the chemical field. That’s why it is sometimes mention as classic chemistry or classical chemistry. With the passage of time this was converted to a distinct branch of analytical chemistry called instrumental analysis due to the high volume of wet chemistry that must be done in today’s society and new quality control requirements.

Requirements for Wet Chemistry:

You will required a lab coat, gloves, goggles, and a bench, also need to wear closed-toes shoes, tie back your hair, and equip yourself with a substantial knowledge of survival safety procedures. It’s also need of glassware, thermometers, heaters, mixers, and a chemical protocol, if it exists. You also are likely to need a collaborator so you are not in the lab alone, just in case. Wet chemistry is also known as bench chemistry because it is performed on a bench.

Wet chemistry related with chemicals in liquid and volatile forms. Which are very aggressive, corrosive, flammable and explosive chemicals such as acids and solvents exist in a liquid form. Handled with care they are indispensable for different methods of chemical synthesis and analysis. Compounds in a chemical reaction manipulated as solutions are fixed by using polar or non polar solvents. Because particular compounds have a preference for a specific solvent or a group of solvents even the insoluble matter can be frequently analyzed by solvent extraction. Large compounds can be break up into smaller ones for analysis through chemical digestion by acid or alkali.

Roots in Alchemy:

Wet chemistry is a basic, classical type of chemistry, which build up to alchemy in the 17th century with a hypothesis that matter comprise of atoms. This was conferred in The Sceptical Chemists, by Irish scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691). Classical chemistry is one of the basic components of experimental science. Here is what Joseph Black, an architect of the analytical balance said about it in the 18th century:

Upon the whole, chemistry is as however an opening science […] worthy the awareness of the liberal mind. That it has been noticed in that light, the great progress already done in chemical knowledge, gives us a pleasant prospect of rich additions to it. The Science is now deliberate on solid and rational grounds. In fact our knowledge is not enough it is apt to run into error: but Experiment is the thread that will guide us out of the labyrinth.

A Brief History of Alchemy:

Alchemy was born in ancient Egypt where the word Khem was applies in reference to the fertility of the flood plains around the Nile. By 332 BC, Alexander the Great scientist had defeat Egypt. Greek philosophers grow into the Egyptian ways. Greek views of how matter is formed of the four elements of nature – Fire, Earth, Air and Water, were merged with the Egyptian sacred science that’s result was Khemia, the Greek word for Egypt.

The concept of alchemy to the west came in the 8th Century when the Arabs brought it to Spain. From here it fastly spread to the rest of Europe.

The Arabian considered that metals are made up of mercury and sulfur in varying proportions. Gold was examined as the perfect metal and all others were less perfect, an idea popular among western alchemists. It was a very famous idea indeed that these lower metals could be transmuted into gold by mode of a substance known as the Philosophers Stone. The Stone is also believed to be able to award immortality, the Chinese name for it being the Pill of Immortality.

In Europe, alchemy contributes to the discovery of manufacture of amalgams and advances in many other chemical processes and the apparatus required for them. After all by the 16th Century, the alchemists in Europe had separated into two groups.

The first group concentrates on the discovery of new compounds and their reactions – leading to what is now in the science of chemistry. The 2nd group carries on looking at the more sacred, metaphysical aspect of alchemy, extending the research for immortality and the transmutation of base metals into gold. This led to the modern ideas of alchemy.

Wet chemistry persist a big part of inorganic and organic (carbon-based) chemistry branches. It demands good hands, accurate judgment, focus, and attention to detail, as well as a particular disregard for bad smells. Certainly fume hoods in a modern chemistry lab take care of most volatile compounds but organic chemistry is especially famous to conduct with extremely smelly substances hence the historical name aromatic compounds.”

Analytical Chemistry:

Analytical chemistry comprise of classical, wet chemical methods and modern instrumental methods. Classical qualitative methods apply separations such as precipitation, extraction, and distillation. Identification may be established on differences in color, odor, melting point, boiling point, radioactivity or reactivity. Classical quantitative analysis applies mass or volume changes to quantify amount. Instrumental methods may be used to distinct samples using chromatography, electrophoresis or field flow fractionation. Just after that qualitative and quantitative analysis can be done mainly with that instrument and may use light interaction, heat interactions, electric fields or magnetic fields. Mostly the same instrument can separate, identify and quantify an analyte.

Wet chemistry is devoted extensively in many qualitative and quantitative methods of analytical chemistry like solubility, turbidity and viscosity determination etc. Use of ion-selective electrodes and titration methods join wet chemistry and electrochemistry in its pH, salinity, and moisture analysis.

Even though the term “wet chemistry” is mostly used to characterize family of laboratory techniques, it is still used in the scientific literature related to chemical synthesis. For example, how about “Wet chemistry continuous to hydrophobic blue fluorescent nano diamond,” intended as a “non-toxic quantum dot analogue for biomedical imaging of cellular membranes?” In modern science, mostly compounds for nanotechnology are synthesized by wet chemistry methods linking classics to the future.

Wet Test (Wet Chemistry)

Wet test is a kind of analytical chemistry that uses classical laboratory analytical methods such as titrations, extractions, thin layer chromatography (TLC), observing colorimetric reactions and changes of physical state.  It is reflected as wet test because almost analyzing is done in liquid phase. Wet test can also be considered as bench chemistry or wet chemistry.

Wet test apply on reagents to determine presence of a specific chemical in an unknown solution. The reagents basis a unique reaction based on the chemical it reacts, allowing an analyzer to know about the chemical present in solution. Some examples of wet test include Heller’s test, Ascorbic acid test, protein test, PH test, cloud point and concentration and so on.

Wet test retain the use of laboratory glassware such as beaker, conical flasks and other transparent materials to maintain the tract of reaction and instruments like Bunsen burners, gasoline and crucibles may applies to evaporate and separate different substances in their dry forms.

Applications of Wet Chemistry:

Elemental analysis of samples such as water sources for elements and compounds like ammonia nitrogen, cyanide, sulfide, phosphorus, phenols, silica and chromium are used in agriculture during Soil testing.

Clinical chemistry uses chemical processes (wet tests) to indicate the levels of chemical components in body fluids and tissues.

Wet chemistry mostly used in laboratory glassware such as beakers and graduated cylinders to save materials from being contaminated or interfered with by unintended sources. We can also use Gasoline, Bunsen burners; crucibles evaporate and separate substances in its dry forms. Wet chemistry can’t used with any advanced instruments of automatically scan substances. Although several simple instruments as scales are used to determine the weight of a substance before and after a change take place.

Wet chemistry procedures may be used for qualitative chemical measurement like changes in color (colorimetry) but mostly comprises more quantitative chemical measurements by using different techniques such as gravimetry and titrimetry. Some uses of wet chemistry include tests for: PH (acidity, alkalinity) concentration, conductivity (Specific Conductance) cloud point (nonionic surfactants) hardness melting point of solids or dissolved solids salinity specific density and turbidity viscosity moisture (Karl Fischer titration)

Wet chemistry is also used in environmental chemistry to determine the current state of the environment. It is also used to test: Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Eutrophication, coating identification. It can also be involved the elemental analysis of different samples, e.g., water sources, for items like:

Ammonia Nitrogen, Chloride, Chromium, Cyanide, dissolved Oxygen, Fluoride, Nitrogen, Nitrate, Phenols, Phosphate, Phosphorus, Silica, Sulfate, Sulfide etc.